Pauline McDonnell

Pauline McDonnell, age 101, of Keyesport, passed away Monday, January 19 in Carlyle, IL. A Mass of Christian Burial for 101 year old Pauline McDonnell will be celebrated at 12:00 noon Thursday, January 22 at St. Mary’s Church in Carlyle. Burial will be in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis. Friends may call Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:40 a.m. at Zieren Funeral Home in Carlyle. Memorials are suggested to Operation Giving Back Mission: Bohol Philippines.

She was born in St. Louis on December 8, 1913. At age 14, she was taken out of school and given a work permit for full-time work as a seamstress at Rice Stix Clothing Factory in St. Louis to help support her parents and 7 brothers and sisters. She earned her high school diploma from Hadley High School at night school. She married Joseph V. McDonnell shortly before he was drafted into WW2. After his return, they moved to Illinois with their children. Pauline continued sewing and took college courses in advanced tailoring, design, and pattern construction. She ranked in the top of Expert Seamstresses. She retired from St. Mary’s Hospital in East St. Louis, where she was the head seamstress, making the traditional habits for the religious nuns, draperies for the hospital, gowns and any sewed product requested.

She took an active involvement in her family’s life, whether it was working together, doing homework, gardening, being the den mother for her son’s Boy Scout troop, sewing, or just playing board games. Pauline was a very hard worker. She made every one coming to the family home welcome and she genuinely cared for friends and neighbors. She always found the best in any situation and could easily laugh and connect with people. She sustained a great loss when her husband passed away at age 67 (also on January 19th). She had the ability to adapt through the years and remained relevant in her grandchildren’s lives.

She was baptized Roman Catholic and lived her faith her entire life. She was active in St. Teresa’s Parish in Marydale. She particularly enjoyed Wednesdays when the congregation said the Rosary and had breakfast with Father Feldman afterwards.
She never hesitated to volunteer her seamstress skills to dress dolls, make stuffed animals, and any sewing project in support of raising funds for charitable purposes or for anyone needing help.

She was a Charter member of the Keyesport Senior Citizen Club and served as secretary for many years. She took on the duties of first lady of Keyesport after her husband was elected Mayor, traveling with him to events and government entities throughout Illinois in search of opportunities and grants for the Village of Keyesport. Her senior years saw her enjoying the cardio rehab program under the guidance of Kim Seiffert and Deb Litteken at St Joseph Hospital in Breese for approximately 26 years. It enabled her to vacation in Scottsdale, AZ at age 93 and walk after 100 yrs old. Pauline had great caring, admiration, and trust in the Renato Rivera family who brought her through tough medical situations for decades.

Going before her in death were her parents – George and Kathyrn Wasson, her husband – Joseph McDonnell, four brothers – Jim, Ed, Jess, and Fred Wasson, six brother-in-laws – Charley, Willy, Frank, Henry, Clyde and Ed McDonnell and her “adopted sister” – Tootie Elvira Bennyhoff.

She leaves behind a son – William (Pat) McDonnell, 2 daughters – Pauline (Lawrence) Klein and Mary (Charles) Glauber, a daughter-in-law – Charlotte (Alan) Sims, her beloved caretaker – Anna Allen, her grandchildren, great grandchildren and her sisters – Grace Banholzer, Theresa Reid, and Laura Clemons.

Zieren Funeral Home
1111 Clinton Street
Carlyle, Il 62231
(618) 594-3151

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