Joseph Donnelly, 77

Joseph Patrick Donnelly, 77, husband of the late Ruth Ann (Walsh) Donnelly, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Monday, April 10, 2023, at his home in South Coventry.

Born in Honesdale, PA, Joe was the son of the late Joseph and Marion (Decker) Donnelly.

Surviving are his children John Donnelly, husband of Theresa, and Megan Taylor, wife of Randy; sister Ann Gilleran, wife of the late John Gilleran; grandchildren Brigid, Kiersten, and Maeve Donnelly, and Colin and Logan Taylor.

Joe dedicated himself to a life of service. He was a proud member of the Army Air Calvary and served in the Vietnam War. He spent 27 years serving as a Pennsylvania State Police Trooper, working out of the Limerick and Skippack barracks. He made many lifelong friends during this time, and he was an active participant in fraternal events throughout his retirement. Joe also spent 8 years serving Douglass Township in Gilbertsville after retiring from the PA State Police.

Joe was an avid hunter and belonged to the Welcome Lake Rod & Gun Club in Welcome Lake, PA. He enjoyed the camaraderie of his childhood friends and club members for more than 50 years. He was an excellent shot, collecting several trophy buck along the way, and he was an even better card player who always said that he would rather be lucky than good!

Joe married the love of his life, Ruth Ann, and shared 50 years of marriage before her passing in August 2022. He lovingly cared for her as she battled cancer, and he was the epitome of a devoted husband and father. Joe was ever present for his children and grandchildren. He worked the midnight shift as a trooper for many years so he could be there to care for his son and daughter during the day, while finding a way to never miss a game or performance. This continued throughout his life as he became the best babysitter and taxi driver for his grandkids, and attended many meets, games, recitals, and plays. He stayed on top of their academic achievements as well and was known to reward them with a few bucks every report card. He loved watching the Phillies and passed this down to his family.

Joe touched so many lives and remained a dependable, positive lifeline for many family members, friends, and colleagues. He was loved by many and will be missed more than words.

A funeral mass will be held on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, at 11:00AM at St. Columbkill Church (200 Indian Spring Rd, Boyertown, PA 19512) with Fr. Martin Kern officiating. A viewing will also be held on Tuesday, April 18, 2023, from 10:00-10:45AM at the church. Burial will be held privately by the family at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Pennsylvania State Troopers Association - Troopers Helping Troopers ( in Joseph’s name or any charity of your choice.

Add My Condolences

Joe was an amazing person, friend, police officer and community member. Our thoughts and prayers are with his children and grandchildren. John and Megan both your parents are once again together. Peace be with you all.
John & Maria Koltonuk
Retired Ambulance President & Police Officer.

~ JOHN M. KOLTONUK Boyertown, PA
4/24/2023 10:52:17 AM

I worked with Joe at Limerick and Skippack as a garage inspector. He always made us laugh and was a great mentor. He will be missed.

~ Timothy Schell Reading, PA
4/18/2023 7:54:57 PM

I had the pleasure of working with Joe in the 1980s. May he Rest in Peace.

~ Bob Hague
4/18/2023 3:48:00 PM

I always liked spending time with Joe with at WLRG. He was a kind hearted tough when he had to be and always enjoyed a good laugh.

~ Tom Quinnan Covington Twp, Pa
4/18/2023 11:34:16 AM

I would see Joe many days picking the grandsons up at Frenchcreek Elementary . We would always have conversations on whatever was on our minds that day. As Megan’s neighbor I would always get a window down hello, good morning. If I was out getting my daughter on her bus I would watch for traffic for him as would he did many times while I was backing in my driveway. Very thankful that is was able to speak with him as much as I did. A great man.

~ John Jordan Pottstown, PA
4/18/2023 9:24:24 AM

Joe was my first “Coach” as a new State Trooper at PSP Limerick. He was a fine gentleman and teacher. He boosted my 30 year career with an injection of job dedication, and respect for PA Citizens and Fellow Troopers over the years. I will miss him and his “love of life and Service”. Never to be forgotten, my friend, coach, and mentor, Tpr. Joseph Donnelly.

~ Charles Mory Harrisburg, PA
4/17/2023 8:09:16 AM

Rest in Peace Brother. I will miss seeing you at the FOP meetings. PSP Proud.

~ Tom Semcheski ASTON, PA
4/17/2023 7:53:43 AM

Joesph saved my fathers life back in the mid-nineties. As a result, we had my father for another 26 years. My God Bless.

~ Richard J. Brandel, Jr. Manalapan, NJ
4/16/2023 6:44:45 PM

Joe was a great dad and great person with a big heart. Will miss him so much, but my prayers are with John and Meagan and there family.

~ Tammy shade
4/14/2023 8:07:31 PM

Megan and John and families, I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

~ Georgeann Rohrbach
4/14/2023 5:17:42 PM

Joe was a good man. I lived in White Mills, Pa & we were friends back then. I am also retired from the PSP. SORELY MISSED. Thoughts & prayers to his family.

~ Jerry Burdick Hamburg, Pa
4/14/2023 4:19:46 PM

Joe was always so very kind and helpful to all at the barracks. Truly a warm and decent man.

~ Tom McDaniel Philadelphia, PA
4/13/2023 2:37:40 PM

Joe was a true gentleman. It was an honor to work with in the PSP. Rest easy Joe.

~ Drew Skelton
4/13/2023 2:10:19 PM

RIP Joe!

~ Charles Rodgers king of prussia, PA
4/13/2023 2:03:40 PM

Joe was an amazing person, friend, police officer and community member. Our thoughts and prayers are with his children and grandchildren.

~ Frederick & Penny Ziegler
4/13/2023 10:11:54 AM