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Jeffrey Donnelly Jeffrey Donnelly Jeffrey Donnelly Jeffrey Donnelly Jeffrey Donnelly

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Jeffrey Donnelly

October 13, 1963 - January 3, 2022


Sadly, The Rev. Jeffrey Joseph Donnelly died suddenly at home on January 3rd.  He was a dear friend to many, and he will be profoundly missed.  A beloved son, Jeff was predeceased by his mother, Betty Donnelly and is survived by his father, Joseph Donnelly. A devoted brother, he is also survived by his siblings, Kevin Mackey, Lori Mackey, Elicia Spagnola, Jennifer Donnelly, Colleen Owens, Kristen Donnelly, and several nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.

Jeff was born and raised in Albany, NY. He earned his BA from Gordon College in Wenham, MA, in 1990 with two majors, one in Biblical & Theological Studies and the other in Philosophy. He earned his MA in Religion at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.  Jeff moved to San Francisco in 1998. In San Francisco, while attending the Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist, Jeff discerned a call to ordination. Jeff completed his theological studies in Canada at Trinity College, Toronto. He was ordained in the Diocese of California in 2006 and was an Assistant Priest at The Cathedral Church of St. James in Toronto from 2006-2008. He then completed a curacy for the Anglican Diocese of Toronto in the joint ministries of the Church of the Incarnation and St. Matthew-the-Apostle, Oriole. In 2010 Jeff was pleased to become the Incumbent at St. Peter’s Anglican Church in Oshawa, Ontario.

During a holiday to Nelson, British Columbia Jeff noticed a search for an Anglican Priest.  Inspired by the culture of creativity in the city and the beauty of the mountains, he listened carefully to his desire to respond. Jeff was delighted when the Anglican Parish of Kokanee welcomed him in 2015 to be their Incumbent priest. Shortly after, he became a proud Canadian citizen and purchased his first house. He joyfully discovered a natural skill in gardening and enjoyed the interests of hiking, mountain biking and photography.  Into this time came the comfort and companionship of his dog, Jax.  Through Jax’s needs for care and exercise, good friendships were brought into Jeff’s life.

Jeff thrived on engaging in building a vibrant, caring community.  His faithful work as a priest and pastor in Nelson took shape as he embraced the team ministry of locally trained priests within his Parish, and colleagues in the Diocese and wider community. He was drawn to the diverse spiritual communities from around the world in Nelson and was actively involved in the Interfaith Climate Action collaborative.

Jeff valued and respected the traditions of the Anglican Church, but he understood the limitations and barriers people could also feel.  Reaching further, Jeff’s hallmark was his understanding and compassion through his attentiveness to people’s experience and story. True welcome was important to him. Jeff was always present in the Pride parade with the Parish and encouraged a wider lens in organizing and contributing to a local weekly newspaper column, renaming it Tapestry. He brought to fruition a long-held Parish dream of planting a Peace Pole on the Ward Street side lawn of St. Saviour’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral, involving various groups and individuals in the creation, planting and then dedication on Sept. 23, 2017.

The gifts of Jeff’s life will be carried in the hearts of many. He made life around him bigger and brighter. His memory is a blessing.

A memorial service for Jeff will be announced at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to a charity of one’s choice.


Send a condolence, light a candle and/or share a memory, click "Send Condolence". Once your message has been approved by the moderator it will be posted to the website.

From: Thompson Funeral Services Ltd.

Thompson Funeral Service Staff send our condolences to family and friends.

From: Robert G. Moore
Relation: Prior to moving to Nanaimo, and then to North Bay, Ontario, we were members of St. Michael and All Angels, Balfour.

Bernie and I were greatly saddened to her of Jeff’s passing. He will be missed, not only by us, the congregation of St. Saviours, the city of Nelson, and of the church community of Kokanee Parish. Be at Peace Jeff.

From: Ian Gartshore
Relation: Priest

As I am not an Anglican, but was happily married by Rev. Jeff to Julia Roberts, I quickly came to appreciate and love this very fine human being. Intelligent, visionary, a big-picture person, warm and more. I can honestly say that he was the only priest I could call my own.
His untimely death is a shock to the many who also loved and appreciated who he was. We grieve together.

From: Sharon
Relation: Dear Friend

You are missed by so many.

From: Gordon and Lydia
Relation: Parishioners

He’ll be missed.

From: Rev. F. Mark Mealing Ph.D.
Relation: Colleague

As Jeff’s colleague & Assistant Priest at St. Mark’s Kaslo, I always enjoyed his company & good heart. I was shocked & saddened by the news of his death as we all were. He was wise, progressive & warm & I will miss him greatly.

From: Rev. Lesley Barclay
Relation: Friend and colleague. Incumbent, Church of the Incarnation 2005-2011.

Jeff was a gift to the ministry at the Church of the Incarnation, Toronto. As his co-worker, I benefited greatly from his deep spirituality and from his friendship. He was a truly wonderful human being whose life reflected Christ.

From: Susanne McKim
Relation: As a fellow priest in the Anglican Diocese of Toronto.

Jeffrey, you are missed. Always a bright light, always bringing peace to the room. Rest in peace.

From: Doug Jamieson
Relation: President of Selkirk Concert Society

Jeff was a wonderful friend to the Selkirk Pro-Musica concert series, primarily held at St. Saviours in Nelson. He was always supportive and will be missed. On behalf of everyone at the Selkirk Concert Society, we send our condolences to his family and friends.

Service Schedule

Private service arrangements have been made.

Memorial Gifts

The family has not designated a preferred charity at this time.

Thank You Notice

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default-floralFloral Tributes may be ordered directly through our supplier. Please have the name of the deceased, the funeral date, the address and phone number of the delivery location for handy reference:

621B Herridge Lane, Nelson, BC V1L 7B3
Phone: (250) 352-5592

2870 Georama Rd, Nelson, BC V1L 6Y7
Phone: (250) 352-3468 / Toll Free: 1(800) 712-6797

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