Mabel Donnelly (Collins)

Mabel Collins Donnelly of West Hartford was wife, mother, scholar, writer, and community volunteer over many years

She was the widow of Dr. John Donnelly. She was the mother of Dr. James M. Donnelly of Leeds, MA, and Dr. Mavis J. Donnelly of Tucson, AZ. A son, John M. Donnelly, predeceased her. She leaves three grandchildren, Marisa, Neal, and Ian Donnelly; and daughter-in-law, Maureen A. McKenna.

Born in New York City, she was the daughter of James T. and Mabel M. Collins of Little Neck, Long Island, and Los Angeles. Her father was long associated with the Liveright Publishing Company.

She earned a Ph. D. from Harvard/Radcliffe. She was a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies and a member of Phi Beta Kappa. She was the author of many articles and was a popular lecturer. Her most recent book was "The American Victorian Woman." She taught at the University of Connecticut and at St. Joseph College, and was much esteemed by her students. She was a Corporator of Hartford Hospital and a former Vestry member of St. John's Episcopal Church. She was a president of the Hartford Shelter for Women (Gray Lodge), and was active on many community boards, including Planned Parenthood, the Visiting Nurse Association, Mortensen Library of the University of Hartford, the Institute of Living Auxiliary, and Hartford Neighborhood Centers, for which she wrote the history of its first hundred years. She was a member of the Saturday Morning Club, and a former member of the Town and County Club. She was a president of The McAuley Residents Association, a leader for many years of its Writers Group, and leaves devoted friends there. She was a volunteer at St. Mary Home and Hartford Hospital.

Memorial contributions may be sent to the Institute of Living 80 Seymour St. PO Box 5037 Hartford, CT 06102, St. John's Episcopal Church, or to the McAuley 275 Steele Rd. West Hartford, CT 06117. Memorial services were held at St. John's Episcopal Church, 679 Farmington Ave. West Hartford on Saturday September 5, 2009. Online remembrances may be made at