In Memoriam: John B. Donnelly

John B. “Bucky” Donnelly, a former salesman for St. Paul, Minnesota-based distributor Brown & Bigelow (PPAI 102272), passed away December 17 at age 105. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Donnelly was celebrated as the oldest resident in Mashpee, Massachusetts. 

Donnelly worked for Brown & Bigelow from his Boston location for nearly 60 years—well into his 90s—and was proud to have worked with the children and grandchildren of some of his original clients. And though none of his early contemporaries are still with the distributor, company President Bill Smith, Jr. says a detailed history of his tenure still exists in the form of an index card. 

The index card system was widely used during the years Donnelly worked, says Smith, and the late salesman’s hiring and retiring dates (October 1, 1945 to December 31, 2004) are recorded along with much of Donnelly’s sales history. Donnelly was known by family and friends to have loved his job, not considering it work at all; he looked forward to meeting new people, and many of his customers became good friends. 

He is survived by his daughters; Susan Riley and her husband, James; and Mary Cihak; six granddaughters and 10 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Josephine, who passed away in 2008. A funeral Mass was held today at Parish of Christ the King in Mashpee. Words of condolence may be sent to Christ the King Saint Vincent de Paul Society, P.O. Box 1800, Mashpee, Massachusetts 02649.

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