Imelda Marie (Holler) McDonnell passed away on Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011.
She was born and raised in Tonawanda by her parents, Wilbert and Bertha Holler, along with her nine brothers and sisters. She married Robert C. McDonnell in 1949 and they lived in the Town of Tonawanda, where they had eight children.
In 1961, the McDonnell family moved to Grand Island. Imelda, who was known as Melly, and her husband, Bob, were active in Little League for several years when the McDonnell boys were young. They continued to attend football and baseball games at Grand Island High School during the 1970s. She even attended a game or two this past summer to watch her boys play in the Grand Island Recreational Softball League.
McDonnell was a stay-at-home mom while her children were young. After all her children were in school, she started to work part time outside the home at Rich Products and Niagara Construction, a construction company owned by her brother, Jack Holler.
McDonnell enjoyed playing golf for several years in the women's golf leagues at River Oaks and Beaver Island. She also enjoyed playing bridge in several bridge clubs.
In 1976, she and her husband sold their house and packed up and moved to Fort Myers Beach, Fla. They had enough of the Buffalo winters. But after a year and a half of Florida, they decided that there was no place like home and moved back to Grand Island. They bought another house on Grand Island and continued to live the rest of their lives there. They still spent winters in Florida, but came back to the Island for the remainder of the year. Even today, seven of their eight children live on Grand Island.
Bob died in October 1989. She then bought a townhouse and lived on the River Oaks golf course. She still enjoyed her golfing and playing bridge with many friends.
Imelda is survived by her children, Christine Stedman, Robert, Patricia (Russell) Colosi, Michael (Kim), Terrence (Sharon), Maureen (Bob) Utz, James (Paula) and Mary McDonnell; 27 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. She is the sister of Sister Mary Wilma Holler, Blake (late Lillian) Holler, Betty (late Ben) Ford, Doris (late Clark) Murray, Virginia (Albert) Wullen, Kenneth (Judith) Holler and the late Jack (survived by wife Lucille), Eugene (survived by wife Barbara) and Richard (survived by wife Marilyn) Holler. She is the daughter of the late Wilbert and Bertha Holler.
Visitation was held on Monday, Feb. 28, at Kaiser Funeral Home and a Mass of Christian burial was held on Tuesday, March 1, at St. Stephen R.C. Church.
Memorials may be made to Hospice Buffalo.