MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL
Thursday, July 25, 2019
10:30 AM EDT
St. Monica Catholic Church
534 West Kilgore Road
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
A luncheon will follow the mass in the church hall.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Margaret “Peg” McDonnell was a beautiful person to know and to love. An exceptional wife, mother, and grandmother, she relished in bringing joy to the hearts of the ones she loved. Peg loved to make the most delicious pecan and apple pies over the years and was a wonderful homemaker. A lover of all people, she treated each and every person she met with kindness. Deeply missed, she will forever be known for her optimistic outlook on life and her compassion for all people.
Reflecting on the 1920s, it was a period of sustained economic prosperity with a growing abundance of culture. Radio stations were growing in popularity throughout the US, and the media was focused on jazz music and celebrities. In the same year that Charles Lindbergh completed the first solo flight across the Atlantic, Harry and Anna (Phipps) Town welcomed their newborn daughter, Margaret, into their hearts on May 15, 1927, in Chicago, Illinois. Born the third youngest of four children, her birth brought great joy into the family home.
Peg lived a typical childhood of the times. Her father worked on the Chicago Police Force while her mother worked at the church and managed the household. The siblings had a special bond and were raised with a strong Christian foundation. They were taught to observe each and every church holiday during the Easter season including Holy Thursday and Good Friday! Charitable at a young age, Peg was known to wake up at 6:00 am every Sunday to work with orphans at St. Vincent DePaul! Growing up, she also loved to spend time with her siblings as well as her close friends and never missed an opportunity to go dancing! Well-liked by her classmates, Peg was always on the go! Peg’s early social skills making friends stuck with her well into her adult years.
She completed high school yet during her early years of post-studies, she was swept off her feet by a dashing young pilot, Joseph Paul McDonnell, when she was working as a government secretary with the FAA. For them, it was love at first sight! Eager to settle down, the happy couple joined in marriage at Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. Together they raised seven wonderful children: Kathy, Jean, Mary, Anne, Joseph, Stephen, and Tim. She cherished her years as a stay at home mom giving all she had to give to her family. A great cook and housekeeper, the family was well cared for by Peg over the years. She valued relationships and modeled for them the acceptance of others. Treating others the way one would want to be treated was her life legacy. She wanted nothing more than the very best for each of her children, including the idea of salvation. Without fail, each and every Good Friday she was sure to call to remind her adult children of their holy obligation to attend service and to not eat any meat! All in all, they trusted in her support and wisdom and leaned on her loving heart when they needed her most over the years.
Peg was a highly active, warm, and engaging individual. During the time she lived in Kalamazoo she enjoyed tutoring students at Kalamazoo Valley Community College. She also enjoyed playing cards especially Pinochle or an intense game of SkipBo. She and Paul enjoyed many years of playing tennis and golf together before their later years. In most recent years, Peg started watching basketball and football as well as the Hallmark Channel and EWTN. For their 50th wedding anniversary, the children secretly wrapped up a gift of towels with the tickets hidden inside. When Peg unrolled the gift and only saw the towels, she did her best to reveal her enthusiasm. But once she pulled the towels out, the tickets fell out and she was over the moon once she realized they were for a trip of a lifetime!
Italy was the trip of a lifetime. It was a memorable time and a remarkable tribute to their parenting. Their beautiful commitment and love for one another was a wonderful example of the sanctity of marriage for their children. Described as giving, caring, and accepting, Peg lived her life with great integrity. She loved to share laughter with family and friends and lived her life as an example of Christ. May her loved ones never doubt the love she held for each of them and may they honor her life by continuing to show mercy and compassion for others.
Margaret “Peg” McDonnell, age 92, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, died peacefully on July 21, 2019. She was an active member of St. Monica Catholic Church. Peg was preceded in death by her husband of sixty-six years, Paul McDonnell; a grandson, Patrick McDonnell; and by two siblings; Harry Town and Florence Oracki. Members of her family include her seven children; Kathy (Frank) Damanskas, Jean McDonnell, Mary (Bill) Quinn, Anne (David) Marra, Joe (Shawn) McDonnell, Stephen McDonnell and Tim (Marla) McDonnell; 5 grandchildren: T.J. (Lonni) Eichelberg, Joe Eichelberg, Connor McDonnell, Max McDonnell and Elizabeth McDonnell; sister, Carol (Jim) Thomas and many nieces and nephews. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Thursday at 10:30 AM at St. Monica Catholic Church (4408 S. Westnedge Ave.) with visitation beginning at 9:30 AM. A luncheon will follow the mass in the church hall. Private burial will take place at Mt. EverRest Cemetery. Please visit Peg’s personal web page at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her online guest book. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Monica Catholic Church or Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan. Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900.