After a lengthy battle with Alzheimer’s and with her loving children by her side, Sally L. McDonnell, 74, from Peoria, joined her predeceased loved ones June 13, 2016 at the Fletcher Heights Assisted Living Facility in Peoria.
Mrs. McDonnell was born Nov. 21, 1941 in McGregor, Iowa, daughter of Barbara (Beckett) and LaVerne Mitchell. The family moved to Pearl Avenue in Loves Park when she was a child. She attended Loves Park Grade School, Harlem Jr. High and Harlem High School. She was a member of the Class of 1960. She attended cosmetology school and operated a beauty shop in her home for many years.
Mrs. McDonnell was confirmed at Bethany Presbyterian Church and married Larry Smith at Bethany. From that marriage, she became the proud parent of Jodie (Campbell), Janet (Strandgard) and Jill Smith. Later in life, she married Charles McDonnell and to that marriage, Patrick was born. Upon Mr. McDonnell’s retirement from the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Police, the McDonnells moved to the Phoenix area, where they have resided for more than 30 years.
Mrs. McDonnell was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2010 and courageously battled the decline of her body and mind as the disease progressed. Upon her death, a memorial service was held in her honor in Glendale, with family and friends in attendance. Mrs. McDonnell was predeceased by her parents, her brother, Terry Mitchell, her husband, Chuck McDonnell, and son-in-law, Joel Strandgard.
Left to carry her legacy are daughters, Jodie Campbell, Janet Strandgard, Jill Smith, and son, Patrick (Candice) McDonnell; her brother, Jack (Terese Dobson) Mitchell; sister-in-law, Lori Mitchell; grandchildren, Bryce and Kortney (Heston Hale) Strandgard and Nychole (Steven) Weston; nieces, Denise (Michael) Snelling, Michelle (Tim) Vronch, Terri (Kevin Keeling) Bailey; and nephews, Chad (Toby) Mitchell and Chip Oswald; several grand-nieces and nephews; and two great grand-nephews.
Mrs. McDonnell was buried in a private ceremony in National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona in Phoenix alongside her husband, Chuck.