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Robert's Story

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Robert J. McDonnell age 94 of Clinton, passed away Sunday, July 30, 2017 at The Alverno Health Care Facility. Funeral services will be held 10:30 AM Thursday at the Pape Funeral Home. Visitation will be held 4 - 7 PM Wednesday at the Pape Funeral Home. Burial will be at St. Irenaeus Calvary Cemetery, where full military honors will be held. All friends and family are invited to a luncheon at the Tuscany Room (Rastrellis) following the burial. Casket bearers will be his grandsons, James McDonnell, Phil McDonnell, Matt Witt, Mike Wendell, Ryan McDonnell, Tarron Borgeson, Duncan Grinstead, and Wade Anderson. Online condolences may be left at www.papefh.com.

Robert was born on Jan. 2, 1923 in Clinton, the son of John and Mary (Dever) McDonnell. After serving our country in the US Army, he returned to Clinton, where he met, fell in love, and married Donna Jean Farrell on May 20, 1947 at St. Irenaeus Catholic Church in Clinton. They lived a short time in Clinton before moving to the Farrell Farm in Goose Lake where he farmed until retiring in 1986 and moving back to Clinton. Bob was devoted to his faith and family. As each new grandchild was born into the family, he always made a comment that each child was a miracle and blessing from God. He enjoyed fixing things and helping others. There was no project he wouldnt tackle. He often, with his brothers, would work on projects for their nieces and nephews. Each brother had their specialty skill, but each of them was always in charge.

His farm was recognized as a Century Farm in 1976. Shortly after retirement, his interest turned to golfing. He took the sport quite seriously and could be found perfecting his scores on a daily basis, sharing time at Canyon Creek, Bucks Barn, and Cross Creek. He proudly accomplished two holes-in-one. He looked forward to golfing trips with Jack, Phil, Brad, and Mike. Bob enjoyed music and bingo activities at The Alverno, where everyone knew who Bingo Bob was. The family would like to thank The Alverno staff for their loving care, especially in his final days.

Bob is survived by his children, Sharon (Ted) Witt of Clinton, Jack (Terri) McDonnell of Omaha, NE, Larry (Joni) McDonnell of Clinton, Diane (Brad) Wendell of Clinton, Ken (Connie) McDonnell of Fulton, IL, and Don (Lynn) McDonnell of Parkview, IA; 20 grandchildren, Stacy (Tarron) Borgeson, Matt Witt, Phil (Katie) McDonnell, Lauren McDonnell, James (Casey) McDonnell, Kati (Duncan) Grinstead, Michelle (Wade) Anderson, Mike (Emily) Wendell, Heather (Curt) Vredevoogd, Rachel McDonnell, Ryan McDonnell, Payton McDonnell, and Shay McDonnell; 9 great grandchildren, Lexi and Noah Grinstead, Zachary and Zoey McDonnell, Cole Borgeson, Caden and Colin Anderson, Aleister Vredevoogd, and Layla McDonnell; two sisters, Natalie Regan of Calamus and Rita Turner of Clinton; his sister-in-laws, Mae ONeil of Camanche, Gloria McDonnell and Norma McDonnell both of Clinton; and several nieces and nephews, including a special nephew, Dick (Beth) McDonnell of Verona, WI. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Donna, and brothers, Bernard, Paul, Gerald, Eugene, and Charlie.
Published on July 31, 2017
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