FLANNERY, Donna Patricia (Nee Cloutier)

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Donna Patricia Flannery (Née Cloutier)
March 17, 1928 – January 9, 2022

FLANNERY, Donna Patricia passed away peacefully in Ottawa on January 9, 2022. Born in Wiseton, Saskatchewan in 1928, Donna moved to Montréal, Québec in 1938. Attending school and college in Montréal, she was working at Bell Canada when she met Gerald Alexander Flannery (B 1927, D 2005). Gerald and Donna were married in Montréal in 1950 and proceeded to have eight children. Robert (Valerie), Suzanne (John), Steven (Diane), Mary (Marc), Julie (B 1957, D 1979), Patrick (Brenda), John (Marian), Lorraine (Guy). Married for 55 years, they raised their children in both Ottawa, Ontario and Thompson, Manitoba, and then moved to Salt Spring Island, British Columbia for their retirement years. They were blessed with 17 grandchildren and many wonderful nieces and nephews. And following Gerald’s passing, “Granny” had the pleasure of knowing and being loved by an additional 17 great-grandchildren.

Donna was predeceased by her parents Julien and Roberta Cloutier and her brother Hubert (Barbara).

While raising her children, Donna was always active in her community, especially in Thompson where she was central to all the goings on and volunteer activities on Elk Bay, at the home that Gerald built. On her return to Ottawa, the Flannery residence was the go-to home for numerous celebrations and countless Sunday dinners.

She was proud to bring her bilingual heritage to her work on Parliament Hill, which was followed by a long career in the Federal Government. Donna remained a dedicated member of her favourite organizations, including La Clouterie ~ Les Cloutier d’Amérique, the Catholic Women’s League, and her beloved Girl Guide troop, attending annual meetings and reunions well into her eighties. She was an avid pianist, giving lessons all her life and often playing the organ at church. Donna was also a life-long learner. She graduated from the University of Ottawa in 1990 with a degree in History, and in her 70s, she embraced the arts scene on Salt Spring Island and learned the craft of painting with watercolors. Many of her original works hang proudly in her children’s homes today. and Donna was patient and extraordinarily generous, often opening her home to relatives from every part of the country. And she did not like to miss out on anything, especially if it involved outdoor skating or a swim in frigid oceans or lakes. She travelled miles to attend concerts, plays, and piano and singing recitals, performed by her many cherished grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In 2018, Donna hosted a party to mark her 90th year, bringing almost 100 family members to Ottawa from across the country. In her later years, Donna was well cared for by the staff at Chapel Hill Residence in Ottawa. Hers was a life well-lived. She steadied on to the end, with her faculties intact, “all her marbles” and her eternal sense of humour.

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