Ella F. Donnelly

Date of Passing:

December 21, 2019

Danielson, CT- Ella F Donnelly, 89, died unexpectedly December 21,2019 at her home in Danielson, Ct.
She was born August 24,1930 in Fall River, MA and was the daughter of the late Vernon and Frances (Merriman) Gray of Bristol RI and beloved wife of the late William F. Donnelly.

As a graduate of Colt High School, Bristol, RI, she earned her nursing diploma from Truesdale Hospital School of Nursing, Fall River, MA and continued her education in physical therapy at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. She had a lifelong career as a physical therapist including her work at Meeting Street School where she met her husband William.

She was raised in Bristol RI and lived in Riverside RI for many years before moving to Danielson, CT in 2006. She worked with her husband William, of 52 years, who owned Donnelly Photography and Fast Foto assisting him at many photography events. She was an active member of the East Providence-Seekonk Rotary. She was a passionate follower of her beloved PAW SOX attending numerous games throughout the season. She loved seeing her extended family at the Bristol 4th of July parade each year.

She is survived by three daughters, Patricia Reidy of Cotuit MA and her husband David, Colleen Martino of Westerly RI and her husband Robert, Kathleen Heffernan of North Richland Hills Texas and her nephew, Gregory DeCosta of California; five grandchildren Meghan, Shaelah, Patrick, Nicholas, Lauren; and two great grandchildren Henry and Eloise. She was the sister of the late Sally DeCosta.

Funeral services will be held in the W. RAYMOND WATSON FUNERAL HOME at 350 Willett Avenue, Riverside, RI on Saturday January 4, 2020 at 1 PM. Calling hours are from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations made in Ella’s memory to East Providence-Seekonk Rotary Club, P.O. Box 14303, East Providence, RI, 02914 would be deeply appreciated.

Online Condolences


  1. To Ella & Bill’s family,

    Your mom was a wonderful person and I will always remember her fondly for her mild and caring manner. I do hope that the family will take some comfort knowing that she was very well liked and a true partner to Bill!

  2. Ella Frances and I were close friends. We sang in the church choir and were together on the weekends, playing games with other friends, etc. In later years we didn’t see each as often, but we remained life long friends. I am very sad that she is gone and will miss her very much.

  3. Dear Pat, I’m so very sorry for to learn of your loss. I recall stories of your mother and trust those memories will keep her close. You and your family are in our prayers. M&J

  4. Dear Pat, condolences to you and your family. Know that you are in my thoughts and prayers this week.

  5. Pat I am so sorry to hear about your loss-it sounds like she had a full life.

  6. Pat, I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family now. I am glad I got to meet your mother; what a great lady!

  7. My condolences to Ella’s family. She will be missed by all who knew her at Briarwood Falls and elsewhere. Rest In Peace, Ella

  8. What a wonderful couple they were! I loved talking to Ella over the years at Briarwood and was so sad to hear of her unexpected death. She was always positive and had a great perspective on life. She will be missed here.

  9. We were lucky enough to be Ella’s neighbors for 3 years. She was a wonderful, loving & giving person. She will be missed.

  10. Deepest sympathies. Ella was an intelligent, kind women who I had the pleasure of knowing from Briarwood Falls. RIP.

  11. Ella Francis was my Godmother. She was a wonderful, caring, thoughtful, intelligent person and passionate about life and her family. Ella was my role model. Her spirit and heart live on.

  12. Ella Francis was a dear lady, I was honored to be her friend. My deepest sympathy to her family

  13. My condolences. She will be missed by those of us, here in Briarwood, to whom she extended her hospitality.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *