Paul Charles Donnelly Passes Away March 12

By  //  March 15, 2014

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BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Paul Charles Donnelly of Indian Harbour Beach died March 12.

Paul Charles Donnelly
Paul Charles Donnelly

He was the son of David Roy and Magdalena (Schreiber) Donnelly of Altoona, Pennsylvania. He was born March 28, 1923.

He is survived by his wife of 70 years, Margaret Mary Donnelly; daughters Penny Martin, Pamela Gene McLeod (Vincent), and Paula Louise Bleakley (McLeod); nine grandchildren, Michele Foster, Christopher Martin, Jackie Nuvy, Conor, Kevin and Michael McLeod; Justin, Nick, and Blaise Bleakley; five great-grandchildren, Austin, Amber and Cody Nuvy, Caden Martin, and Gus Bleakley. Mr. Donnelly served in the U.S. Navy during World War II flying in the first Missile Squadron of four engine privateers, VP 109 known as the BAT Squadron.

He retired in 1979 as Director Space Transportation Systems Processing at KSC-NASA and in 1989 as Vice-President USBI-UTC. He was involved in all the manned flights from MR-3 (Al Shepard) through the first 10 shuttle flights. During his career, he was awarded nine Navy Medals, six NASA Medals, one Outstanding Leadership Medal, three Exceptional Service Medals and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Space Club.

His community services included president of the Holy Name of Jesus Church Council and he was a retired Eucharistic Minister. Mr. Donnelly was President and a founder of the Melbourne Central Catholic High School Parent Association; four term President of the Missile Space and Range Pioneers; and a founder and two term Chairman of the board of the Astronaut Memorial Foundation.

Mr. Donnelly was often asked what his favorite flights were. His answer was, “all of them,” but when pinned down, his answer was MR-3 (Al Shepard), MA-6 (John Glenn), Gemini III (Gus Grisson, John Young); Apollo 7 (Wally Shirra and Eiselle Cunningham); Apollo 8 (Frank Borman, Lovell and Anders); and Apollo 11 (Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin andMichael Collins).

A viewing will be held at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in Indialantic on Monday, March 17, 2014 at 10 a.m., with a funeral mass to follow at 11 a.m.

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