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In Memory

Anne O'Donnell (Donnally)

Anne Huntington Donnally (nee O’Donnell) passed away on February 28, 2024, at Montgomery General Hospital in Olney, MD, after suffering complications from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). She was 72 years old. The oldest of eight children born to John Joseph and Joanne O’Donnell, Anne was born in Washington, DC, on January 31, 1952. When Anne was seven, her family moved to Bethesda, MD, where she spent her formative years. She attended Ursuline Academy for grade school and part of high school; later attended Mount Carmel High School in Auburn, NY; and graduated from Walter Johnson High School in 1970.


Anne was always service-minded. After high school, she worked for several years as a waitress/hostess in the Bethesda – Chevy Chase – Silver Spring area at establishments such as Roberts/Pioneer Grill restaurant, the Woodside Deli, and the Quarry House.


She then returned to college, earning an A.A. in Elementary Education from Montgomery College, where she graduated cum laude and was elected to the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society. Anne later continued her studies in education, earning a B.S. in Special Education from the University of Maryland and an M.A. in education from Trinity University in Washington, DC.


Anne applied her special education degrees in jobs at National Children’s Center in Washington, DC and later at the Stephen Knolls School in Kensington, MD, retiring for health reasons from the Montgomery County School System in 2016, after nearly 25 years of teaching. Anne had a tremendously empathetic and generous capacity for working with children with severe intellectual and developmental disabilities. A MCPS principal commented early on in Anne’s teaching career that “she exhibited a special sensitivity to adolescents with special needs.” She loved her students and was often invited to their birthday parties held at their homes.


Anne had a deep love for Our Lord and profound devotion to her Catholic faith. She showered her daughter (Roxanne Christine) with boundless affection and cherished her many pets over the years (cats and dogs). Anne was an avid reader, devouring crime mysteries, and had a witty sense of humor. She will be greatly missed! Anne was predeceased by her parents John Joseph and Joanne O’Donnell, and by her brother Rev. Stephen J. O’Donnell. She is survived by her daughter Roxanne Helfrick of Silver Spring, MD; her siblings James A. O’Donnell of Brunswick, MD, Amy S. O’Donnell of Silver Spring, MD, Mary D. Dellatorre (Dan) of North Bethesda, MD, Paul T. O’Donnell (Robin) of Montgomery Village, MD, Mark A. O’Donnell of Chestnut Hill, MA, and Matthew D. O’Donnell (Julie) of Herndon, VA; and many nieces and nephews as well as grandnieces and grandnephews.


A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 12, at Saint Andrew Apostle Catholic Church, 11600 Kemp Mill Road, Silver Spring, MD 20902, with burial at Gate of Heaven Cemetery to follow. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Gabriel Project of Montgomery County, MD ( https://www.gpmoco.org).


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03/08/24 01:44 PM #1    

Deborah DuMont (Allen)

Words do not say how sad I am to lose an old friend. I had met been meaning to get up with her since moving back to Maryland, and time just got away. I really hate that we did not get together. My heart goes out to her family, I know they will truly miss her.

Dee DuMont Allen

03/09/24 08:29 PM #2    

Kathleen Milne (Leupp)

Anne was one of my best friends and through the years I'm sorry to say we lost contact. I am saddened that she is gone but I know she is in a better place. She had a beautiful smile and was so much fun to be with. Her heart was huge and she always took time and pleasure in helping anyone in need. I looked up to her and she was my hero. Sweet Anne you will always have a place in my heart.

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