Francis “Fran” Warren Donnelly, of Middletown, RI passed away on February 3, 2023, peacefully in Newport, RI with the comfort of family by his side.
Fran was born in Newport to Humphrey J. Donnelly Jr. and Edna Grace (Winters) Donnelly on January 10, 1945. After graduating high school, Fran served in the Army, and was stationed in Germany. He returned to Newport and was employed for many years as a clerk for the district court. He then went on to work for the government as housing manager on the Newport Naval Base until his retirement.
And while Fran always held a 9 to 5, his true passion was music. Fran entertained many people over the years from his early start playing solo gigs, then as the front man in Sky Bird, and finally as part of the ensemble Band Stand Revue. He was a talented vocalist and guitar player who always wanted to continue to learn and perfect his craft. Fran loved to make people laugh and he was a fantastic storyteller with a quick wit and “dad jokes” were in endless supply.
Fran is survived by his wife of 38 years, Gladys “Shubie” Donnelly also of Middletown, RI. He is also survived by his children Christine Donahue, Richard Souza (Katie) and E Andrea Lotsey. He was predeceased by his son Chad Donnelly. Fran is also survived by his five grandchildren Amanda Donahue, Sadie, Sally, Stanley, and Steven Souza. He was a proud Grampy who loved to tell anyone who would listen he had the best grandkids in the world.
In addition to his son Chad, Fran was predeceased by all of his siblings, Florence Lorraine Lewis, Humphrey J. “Harp” Donnelly III, Donald J. Donnelly, John F. “Jack” Donnelly, Edna Diane Colella, Thomas W. “Fox” Donnelly, Michael Chad Donnelly, and his twin Brian P. Donnelly. Uncle Fran used to joke that he had too many nieces and nephews to count but he loved and cherished them with all his heart.
Fran loved his large family and his Newport roots. He will be so missed and always loved. Think of Fran whenever a song moves you.
Visiting hours will be held Tuesday, February 7 from 4-7PM in the O’Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring St, Newport. A Mass of Christian burial will take place Wednesday, February 8 at St Augustin’s Church, corner of Carroll & Harrison Ave, Newport at 10 AM. Burial will follow in St. Columba Cemetery, 465 Brown’s Ln, Middletown.