Robert Eugene (Bob) Donnelly, age 88, died in his home February 20,2020. He reunited with his beloved father-in-law Thomas Earl Queen on “Pop’s” birthday Feb. 20. Bob is survived by his wife of 50 years, Mary Queen Donnelly, his son Robert Michael Donnelly and John Richard Jacobs. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph Thomas Donnelly and Leona Mary Donavan Donnelly; by his brothers and sisters: Lt. Col William Joseph Donnelly, USMC (Melanie), Mary Donnelly Leary (Col Albert Leary, USMC, Fr. Joseph Thomas Donnely, SJ, Margaret Donnelly Miller (Charles), Rose Donnelly Monier (Albin) and brothers-in-law: Richard Eugene Queen (Mary Grace) and Jimmy Queen (Real). Bob was born and raised in New Orleans, LA, by his widowed mother in 1932. His father was killed in a tragic car accident when Bob was two months old. His mother, despite advice to put the children in an orphanage, said “God gave me these six children and he will give me the means to raise them.” Bob attended Sacred Heart Catholic Elementary School on Canal Street, run by the School Sisters of Notre Dame. He remembered the names of every teacher he had in elementary school “because they saved me from being a timid little boy and gave me purpose. “ Like his father and brother, he graduated from Jesuit High School, New Orleans, where he was voted president of his class and received the two highest rewards offered by the school: Most Outstanding Jesuit Student and Spiritual Leader Award. Inspired by the Jesuits, he entered the Jesuit Order in 1951 and was ordained a priest in 1964. Bob received his B.A. degree in English, Latin, and Greek from Springhill College in Mobile, AL. He received his Master’s in Guidance and Counseling from Loyola University, New Orleans, LA, his Theology degree from St Louis University. In 1958, he taught Latin and English at Jesuit High School in Tampa, FL. In the summers, he served as teacher, counselor, and chaplain at St Thomas More School in Colefield, Connecticut. In 1966, he was called to Jesuit High School in New Orleans as Director of Guidance and Counseling. In 1969, he took a leave of absence from the Jesuits and took a position with the Human Development Institute in Atlanta GA where he coordinated a training program for stewardesses of Pan Am Airlines. In that same year, he met and fell in love with Mary Queen Donnelly. They were married in 1970 on the farm where Mary took her first step as a child. They moved back to New Orleans in 1971 when Bob took a position as a counselor for addicted persons at Tulane University’s Department of Psychiatry and Neurology. Their son, Michael, was born March 21, 1972. In 1974, Bob took a position with District Attorney Harry Connick, Sr. as Director of the First Offenders Program. He served in that position for over twenty years. In 1998, he moved to Atlanta, GA, where he served as “Father of Redirections” in Alto Maximum Security Prison in Alto GA. While there, he and his prisoners were chosen as “extras” in the movie, “My Cousin Vinney.” In 1994, he took a position as instructor of Latin and Introduction to Foreign Languages at Marist School in Atlanta, GA. In 1998, he and Mary moved to the family farm in Canton, MS. Bob took a position as Latin teacher at St Joseph Catholic High School in Madison, MS, where he retired. Bob, a man of faith and compassion, saw his role in life as a servant to others. He was loved by all he met. Visitation will be at Breeland Funeral Home on Sunday, February 23, 2020 from 5:00 - 7:00 pm. Visitation will resume Monday at 10:00 am at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with the Funeral Mass at 11:00 am. Burial will be in the Canton Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Sacred Heart Catholic Church or St. Joseph Catholic High School.
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