|Birth: ||Jan. 20, 1933|
|Death: ||Nov. 5, 2012|
Her permanent tombstone reads "Nancy Donnelly Riley." Anne "Nancy" Roger Donnelly Riley was born January 20, 1933 in Cincinnati, Hamilton County, Ohio. She was the third (and second, surviving) child of the late Thomas James Donnelly and the late Clare Cecilia "Ceil" Meiners Donnelly. Nancy had one older sister, the late Mary Clare Donnelly Minges (wife of James Raymond Minges, deceased); an older brother who died in infancy, Thomas J. Donnelly (Mary's twin); a younger brother, the late Thomas Meiners Donnelly (husband of Mary Stauber Donnelly, deceased); and a younger sister, Catherine Theresa Donnelly (O'Fallon) (wife of William O'Fallon).
DNA testing reveals Nancy, her children, and her direct female ancestors and their brothers and direct female descendents and their brothers are of the clan of "Helena" (mtDNA haplogroup H) who lived 20,000 years ago in the Dordogne region of southwest France near the present city of Perpignan on the Mediterranean, gathering oysters and hunting and creating cave paintings.
The Donnellys are descended from the powerful Irish clan of Ui Neill who claimed the High Kingship of Ireland from the 7th to the 11th century AD.
Nancy was a devout Catholic and a graduate of the College of Mount Saint Joseph in Hamilton County.
On November 7, 1952 she met her college friend Patricia Riley Offerman's brother Tom Riley. On September 4, 1954 Nancy married Thomas Norman Riley at Saint Antoninus Roman Catholic Church in Cincinnati, and they moved to the Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio area. Tom and Nancy had nine children: Thomas P. Riley (husband of Kathleen), Michael G. Riley (husband of Margaret), J. Norman Riley (husband of Mary), Patrick G. Riley (husband of Deborah), Jane C. Riley, Daniel J. Riley (husband of Deborah), Margaret M. Riley McCarthy (wife of William), Brigid Ann Riley Kelleher (who predeceased her mother) (wife of Sean whose second wife is Marta), and James P. Riley (husband of Patricia, who predeceased her mother-in-law). At the time of her death, Nancy had 28 grandchildren. For many years she worked as a department store cosmetics clerk.
Nancy was a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, and grandmother. She is remembered by her children's friends for sleep-overs in the basement and for making the coolest gifts, like a coke bottle doll with tie-top shirt. She experienced in her life both happiness and tragedy, none worse than the death of her daughter Brigid.
In her last years she suffered from dementia. Nancy died at age 79 on November 5, 2012 in Rocky River, Cuyahoga County, Ohio, and her funeral was at Saint Christopher Roman Catholic Church in Rocky River. She was buried at Lakewood Park Cemetery in Rocky River. Her gravestone reads "God Bless" in her own handwriting. In 2015 her husband Tom was buried next to her.
In the words of Tom and Nancy's son Norm, "Mom and Dad have left us with tangible evidence of love, faith, hope, charity, respect, hard work, perseverance, the ability to overcome challenges no matter how hard, laughter, and family."
Thanks so much to Mary Donnelly Minges and all the Riley family for so much of this information. Any errors, however, are mine alone. Please go to the "edit" link on this site with any corrections or additions. If a closer relative than I would like to manage this site, please let me know. Thanks to Josie Ekstrand for creating this memorial.
Thomas James Donnelly (1900 - 1980)
Clare Cecilia Meiners Donnelly (1903 - 1990)
Thomas Norman Riley (1929 - 2015)*
Brigid Ann Riley Kelleher (1965 - 1992)*
Mary Clare Donnelly Minges (1930 - 2013)*
Thomas J. Donnelly (1930 - 1930)*
Anne Roger Donnelly Riley (1933 - 2012)
Thomas Meiners Donnelly (1934 - 1997)*
Lakewood Park Cemetery
Plot: Section 15, Lot 163, Grave 3
Maintained by: Sharlotte Neely Donnelly
Originally Created by: irish mom
Record added: Nov 06, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 100268414