George Donnelly of Dover peacefully passed away Thursday November 1, 2012 at home. He was 74.
George was born in New Jersey in July 1938, the youngest son of James & Kathryn Donnelly. At age 15, his family moved to Long Beach, CA and at age 17 he enlisted in the United States Air Force in October, 1955. After basic training George was sent to Airborne Radio Operators School in Mississippi. Upon graduation in 1956, he was assigned to Evreux AB France and began flying missions on C-119 and C-47 aircraft. In 1958, he retrained to Aircraft Loadmaster and started flying C-130 aircraft on missions throughout Europe, Africa and the Middle East. In 1960, he was reassigned to El Centro Naval Air Station, CA, flying in a variety of different type of aircraft involved in Parachute recovery systems for NASA projects in the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space programs. Transferred to Howard AFB, Panama in 1964, he flew embassy support missions in Central and South America on C-118 and C-47’s until being reassigned to Dover AFB, in 1967. There he flew in C-133 and C-5A’s worldwide including 35 combat support missions in Vietnam. His numerous decorations included the Air Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and the Combat Aircrew Badge. While assigned to Dover AFB, he attained a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Aviation Management from Wilmington College, as well as a Private Pilot and FAA Ground Instruction License. Retiring in 1979, after 24 years and over 10,000 flying hours he was employed by the State of Delaware.
In 1985 he was appointed the Director of Facilities Management until leaving in, 1993. He received his U.S. Coast Guard Masters License in 1993 and captained numerous vessels in the Kent Island, MD area until his full retirement in 1996. During his life he engaged in many activities including, sky diving, scuba diving, flying, surf fishing and boating.
In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 54 years, Madeleine “Patty” Donnelly in May 2011, brothers, Jimmy and Richard and sister, Virginia.
He is survived by his son, Bruce Donnelly and his wife Dana of Seattle, WA; grandchildren, Christian and Joshua and great grandchildren, Chloe and Collin, in addition to his beloved Yellow Lab, “Murphy” and cat “BC”.
Graveside services, where he will be interred next to his wife “Patty”, with full military honors will be held 12:30PM, Thursday, November 8, 2012 at Holy Cross Cemetery, Clara & N. New Street, Dover. Friends may call from 11-12PM at Torbert Funeral Chapel South, 1145 E. Lebanon Road (Rt.10), Dover.
In lieu of flowers the family suggests contributions be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, 4899 Belfort Road, Suite 300, Jacksonville, FL 32256; www.woundedwarriorproject.org or a charity of your choice.
Letters of condolences may be sent, and guestbook signed, at torbertfuneral.com.