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Catherine R. McDonnell

November 25, 1919 ~ January 30, 2019 (age 99)

Catherine R. McDonnell, who devoted her life to caring for others, died at home in Holyoke on January 30th. She was 99. She was born in the same city to Francis E. McDonnell, a firefighter, and Mary Falvey McDonnell, who immigrated to America in 1905 from Valentia Island, on the west coast of Ireland. The McDonnells lived in Oakdale and attended Sacred Heart Church. There were three daughters; Catherine’s sisters Mary and Sheila predeceased her, as did Sheila’s husband Fred Hampson. Catherine McDonnell was a graduate of Holyoke High School and the Providence Hospital School of Nursing. After obtaining her certification as a Registered Nurse, she worked for 42 years at the Mount Holyoke College infirmary. Her vocation did not stop there; she nursed her parents and her sister Mary though their final illnesses. Her great passion was her family, especially her niece and nephews, and her nephews’ children. She focused intently on their care, their protection and, despite their occasional objections, their improvement. She is survived by those nephews: Rick Hampson of Fair Lawn, N.J. and David Hampson of South Hadley; by her niece, Heidi Hampson of Sudbury and Onset; by their spouses and partners, Lindy Washburn, Rachel Hampson and Ellen Thompson; and by their four dogs -- Mac, Becky, Sandy and Blue -- on whom she doted almost as lovingly as she did their masters and mistresses. She also is survived by three grandnephews: Jack, Nick and Tyler Hampson; and a grandniece, Amy Hampson. In them, she saw the future, and thus the face of hope. In her last months, she was under constant care. Her family gives special thanks to Nicole Lempke, RN, of Beacon Hospice, and the aides from Pioneer Valley Home Care Services. In them, she saw the face of love. Funeral arrangements were private.

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