Vincent Donnelly

Obituary of Vincent Donnelly

Dr. Vincent Peter Donnelly of Irvington, N.Y., formerly of Fairfield and New Milford, CT, died April 18, 2018, at home, surrounded by his family. He was 87.

Born the son of Irish immigrants Peter and Teresa Donnelly, Vincent was raised in Schenectady, New York, along with his brother Terrence and sisters Winifred, Maureen, Margaret and Joan, all of whom predeceased him. The first in his family to attend college, he graduated from Union College in Schenectady, and then went on to medical school at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, graduating at the top of his class. It was in Montreal that he met the love of his life, Mary Elizabeth Morrison. They were married for 63 years before her passing in June, 2017. Together they raised 7 children, and doted on 15 grandchildren and a great-grandchild in a home filled with love, laughter and learning. Vincent moved with Mary to Bridgeport, CT where he entered the residency program at Saint Vincent’s Hospital. During his tenure he served in the positions of Chief of the Residency Program, Chairman of the Department of Surgery and Co-Chief of the Medical Staff. He was a born teacher who influenced several generations of doctors with his intelligence and compassion. While he received many accolades and awards throughout his career, such as “Physician of the Year” from the Bridgeport Medical Society, he took the greatest pride in receiving the “Teacher of the Year” award four years in a row, as this one was awarded by the residents he taught. He practiced General Surgery in the Bridgeport area as the heart of this community and to many was known as “Saint Vincent.” In May 2006, Vincent received a Certificate of Distinction for his more than 50 years of dedication to practicing medicine by the Fairfield County Medical Association. He and Mary settled in Fairfield, Conn., where they raised their seven children and made their home for 45 years. Vincent was a faithful member of Our Lady of Assumption Parish in Fairfield and Our Lady of the Lakes Parish in New Milford, where he and the family spent more than 40 summers making friends and memories as members of the Candlewood Lake Club. He had gifted hands, which he used not just for saving lives. He was a fine furniture craftsman, clockmaker, and restorer of antique automobiles. When time allowed, he enjoyed sailing and fishing on Candlewood lake, or taking to the wheel in one of his favorite cars with his co-pilot and backseat driver, Mary.
A man universally loved, Vincent had a fine tenor voice and was a talented teller of stories and jokes – never forgetting one that he heard. Always eager to bring on a smile, he will be remembered through loving memories, laughter, and the joy of family.

Vincent is survived by his children, Shawn (and Patrick) O’Sullivan of Fairfield, CT; Tertia Goodwin of London, England; Caroline (and Douglas) Erni of Irvington, NY; Peter (and Kim) Donnelly of Brookfield, CT; Michael (and Patricia) Donnelly of Glastonbury, CT; James (and Mary) Donnelly of Monroe, CT; Sydney (and Christopher) Leggett of Gilford, NH; and 15 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Calling hours will be held at the Lesko & Polke Funeral Home, 1209 Post Road, in Fairfield Center this Sunday April 22nd from 3-7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Monday April 23rd at 11:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Assumption Church, 545 Stratfield Road, Fairfield. His interment will follow in Oak Lawn Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital (stjude.org) or Saint Vincent’s Medical Center (stvincents.org).