Nuala Pell, Grandmother of Clay Pell, Passes Away at 89
Nuala Pell, grandmother of Clay Pell and widow of late Senator Claiborne Pell, passed away on the morning of Sunday April 13, 2014 at Newport Hospital at the age of 89.
Pell, a long time advocate for education, the arts, and humanities in Rhode Island, was honored last year by Salve Regina Univeristy by their announcement of the "Nuala Pell Leadership Program in Public Service." She was also awarded the President's Medal by Brown University in 1997, which is the school's highest honor.
"Our entire family is heartbroken by my grandmother's passing," said Clay Pell in a statement released Sunday afternoon. "She dedicated her life to her family and to the service of others. From her work in support of the arts, education, and her humanitarian service, she was a beacon of hope to many. We could not have asked for a better parent or grandparent than Mimi. We will love and miss her more than words can express."
Prominent members of the Rhode Island government also released statements about the passing of Nuala Pell:
"Nuala Pell's remarkable lifetime of public service left an indelible mark on our state. Alongside her husband, Senator Claiborne Pell, she was a passionate advocate for the arts and humanities and, above all, for the people of our Ocean State. I will always remember her as a cherished friend, and I will miss her deeply. My thoughts and prayers are with the Pell family." – Senator Sheldon Whitehouse
"I was deeply saddened to learn that Nuala Pell passed away earlier today. She was a great friend and an extraordinary woman who was deeply committed to serving the common good. Together with her husband, Senator Claiborne Pell, Nuala served Rhode Island and our nation in so many ways. Her generosity, philanthropy, and commitment to civic duty are a great loss to our state. I extend my condolences to the entire Pell family." – Congressman David Cicilline
"Senator Claiborne Pell was one of the greatest public servants in Rhode Island history, and his wife Nuala has always embodied those same values of selflessness, courage and kindness. I was proud to count the Pells as mentors and friends, and it is with a heavy heart and deep sadness that we say goodbye to Nuala. Her steadfast commitment and service to Rhode Island will never be forgotten. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Pell family at this difficult time." – Congressman Jim Langevin
Pell's last major public appearance was on January 28th when she joined grandson Clay Pell at his announcement to become a Democratic candidate for governor. Her passing was confirmed by a spokesperson for Clay Pell through NBC 10.
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Mrs. Pell was the daughter of the late Charles Oliver O'Donnell and Maire Josephine Hartford, granddaughter of A&P grocery chain founder George Huntington Hartford.
Mrs. Pell is survived by a brother, Columbus O'Donnell, of England, and tow chidren, Nuala Dallas Pell Yates, of New York City: and Christopher T.H. "Toby" Pell and daughter-in-law Janet Pell, of Newport. In addition to Clay Pell, she is also survived by grandchildren Chrisina Pell Neal, Eames Yates, Nick Pell and Tripler Pell: and by nine great-grandchildren: Elias, Atlas and Marina Hammoud: Oliver, Bertie and Muala Randall: Zara Neal: and Georgina and Henry Pell.
Her funeral will be at 11:00a.m. on Monday April 21, st Trinity Church in Newport, with a reception to follow at the Pell Center.
Published in the Providence Journal on April 14, 2014
Claiborne de Borda Pell
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