Marilyn A. Donnelly of Newport, age 65, passed away peacefully at RI Hospital on Friday, June 28th, 2019 surrounded by her loving family after a sudden illness. She was the daughter of the late Mayor Humphrey J. (Harp) and Barbara A. Donnelly. Marilyn worked many years at The Pier restaurant where she met so many friends, with who she created some of her fondest memories. She graduated from Salve Regina University and Providence College, earning degrees in Elementary Education and Special Education, as well as a Master’s Degree in Guidance Counseling. She was employed by the Newport School Department, teaching 2nd grade for over 30 years at various elementary schools including Sullivan, Sheffield, Coggeshall, and Pell before retiring last year. Marilyn loved and cherished each and every one of the thousands of children she taught. For more than 20 years she also worked for the James L. Maher Center as an administrative coordinator for several group homes. Marilyn’s greatest joy was to help others and make everyone feel special. She treated everyone equally and was never judgmental towards anyone. She welcomed people of all walks of life into her heart and home. She was famous for her regular Friday night gatherings and parties for St. Patrick’s Day, the Aquidneck Island Police Parade and Fourth of July which will surely go down in history as some of the best times. She loved to entertain and was the best at doing so, between her delicious food, signature cocktails, funny stories, and Irish wit. She was truly the most selfless angel on earth. You could always count on Marilyn during a time of need.
Marilyn was immensely proud of her Irish Catholic heritage. She was a member of AOH Ladies Division, as well as a Eucharistic Minister and CCD teacher at St. Augustin Church. Marilyn is survived by her daughters; Shari Donnelly (Angelo Correira) of Newport, Andrea Winquist (Col. Michael Winquist) of Barrington, grandchildren Mia and Andrew Loyola of Newport, and her great-granddaughter and light of her life, Lucia Loyola of Newport. Her sisters Sandra Henderson (Bob Henderson), Maureen Cotsoridis (Ted Cotsoridis), brothers Harp Donnelly (Tricia Donnelly) Stephen Donnelly, Patrick Donnelly (Raquel Donnelly) all of Newport, uncles Francis Donnelly and Michael,”Chad” Donnelly. Her nieces Julie Henderson, Nicole Allen (Bo Allen), Stephanie Cotsoridis and nephews Robert Henderson (Beth Henderson), Anthony Cotsoridis and many great nieces, nephews and cousins. She is also survived by her beloved American Bully.
Visiting hours will be on Tuesday, July 2nd, from 4pm-7pm, at the O’Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring Street, Newport. A Mass of Christian burial will take place on Wednesday, July 3rd at 10 am at St. Augustin’s Church, Carroll Avenue, Newport. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the James L. Maher Center, 906 Aquidneck Avenue, Middletown, RI 02842 and St. Augustin’s Church, 2 Eastnor Road, Newport, RI 02840.