In Memory of




Obituary for Mary Frances Donnelly

Mary Frances Donnelly, 87, of Roanoke, Virginia died peacefully on Friday, December 24, 2021. She was born in Richmond, Virginia, the daughter of Robert and Lelia Mettert. She graduated from the Medical College of Virginia with a B.S. in Nursing and worked as a public Health Nurse in Richmond. She married the love of her life, Thomas E. Donnelly, in 1957, and moved with her family to Roanoke in 1962.

Mary Frances was an active member of Raleigh Court Presbyterian Church where she served as a deacon. She was a volunteer for the Roanoke City Health Department, Hurt Park School, and 30 years for the American Red Cross. She was a member of the Dogwood Garden Club and the PEO, Chapter AI, Salem, Virginia.

Mary Frances was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. She loved nature, birding, reading, gardening, music, and travel. She selflessly gave to many causes and people; her greatest passion was her family and friends. She had a strong, quiet presence of faith in God.

She was preceded in death by her dear husband, Dr. Thomas E. Donnelly, and is survived by a daughter, Cathy Smithson (Berch) of Newport News, VA; son, Tom Donnelly (Lauri) of Sterling, VA; three grandchildren, Catie Sanders (Andrew), Michael Donnelly, and Cameron Smithson; and three great-grandchildren, Selah, Addie, and Caden Sanders.

In lieu of flowers contributions can be made to Raleigh Court Presbyterian Church’s Hunger Mission Group or to Feeding America.

The family would like to thank the staff at Woodland Hills retirement community, Generation Solutions, Carilion Emergency Room, and Good Samaritan Hospice for taking such good care of mom.

There will be a memorial service at 1 p.m. on Saturday, January 29, 2022, at Raleigh Court Presbyterian Church with Rev. Andrew Whaley officiating. Reception will be in the fellowship hall following the service. A private interment will be held in Sherwood Memorial Park.