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Obituaries » John Wynne MacDonell

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John Wynne MacDonell

July 10, 1930 - August 24, 2021

U.S. Veteran
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July 10, 1930 – August 24, 2021

John Wynne MacDonell died in Lima, Ohio, on August 24 at the age of 91. He was born in Lima on July 10, 1930, to Alexander Dalzell and Mary Wynne MacDonell. On July 16, 1955, he married Sally Eaton, who survives.

He is preceded in death by his much-beloved brother Alexander D. MacDonell, Jr. (Martha S.) and sister Jean MacDonell Weis (Thomas T.), and his brother-in-law Raymond W. Eaton (Patricia W.).

Other survivors include four children, George D. MacDonell of Lima and Naples, FL, Sara W. MacDonell of Columbus, Mary M. Marinelli (Michael) of Austin, TX, and Elizabeth S. MacDonell (Lisa Domenico) of Anchorage, AK; seven grandchildren, Alexander H. MacDonell, Alexandra C. MacDonell, Meghan M. Barton (Joshua), Michael A.X. Marinelli, John A.D. Marinelli, Katherine Graham Marinelli, and Cole M. Domenico; and one great-granddaughter, Avery L. Barton.

John was a 1949 graduate of Western Reserve Academy in Hudson, Ohio. He earned his B.A. in 1955 from Denison University in Granville, Ohio, where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and served in the Granville Volunteer Fire Department. He was a mortarman in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1953.

John began his career with City Loan & Savings in 1954. He worked in various managerial roles in the Newark, Sidney, and Toledo Laskey Road offices before returning to the main office in Lima in 1964. He managed the Savings Department for many years, then as Corporate Secretary/Treasurer until his retirement in 1988.

John’s legacy begins and ends with his tireless dedication to the betterment of the Lima/Allen County community. He volunteered with the United Way of Greater Lima in almost every capacity imaginable for more than 55 years, helping raise millions of dollars for the community. The American Red Cross, Lima/Allen County Regional Planning Commission, Salvation Army, Shawnee Boy Scout Council, and Woodlawn Cemetery were among the many other community organizations with whom he volunteered, some for upwards of 50 years.

After retiring from City Loan, John’s “second career” was as the volunteer President of the Lima Community Foundation. Working in partnership with Executive Director Susie Gray, John helped the Foundation grow to more than $8 million in assets for the benefit of the Lima/Allen County region and beyond. He was an ardent advocate for a strong culture of philanthropy, connecting interested contributors with local nonprofit organizations doing great work. He also cared deeply about supporting the nonprofit profession. He helped found the Lima Region Development Professionals Roundtable (a.k.a. Veggie Soup Group) in 1992 and brought the first National Philanthropy Day celebration to Lima in 2010.

In 2004 St. Rita’s Medical Center honored John and Sally with the Mercy Club Award for their many volunteer efforts at St. Rita’s and elsewhere in the Lima community. In 2010, the Lima Community Foundation and Lima Region Development Professionals Roundtable established the John W. MacDonell Volunteer of the Year Award to recognize “an outstanding volunteer/philanthropist who exemplifies John’s spirit of philanthropy by sharing their time, talents, expertise, and resources with the area’s nonprofit community.”

Visitation will be on Friday, September 17, from 4-7 p.m., at Chiles-Laman Funeral Home, 1170 Shawnee Road, Lima. The family requests that attendees please wear masks for covid safety.

Services and interment will be private. Honorary pallbearers are Sara Cory Aikman, James D. Eaton, Susie Gray, R. Barry Hardy, R. Parker MacDonell, and Donald J. Witter.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be sent in John’s memory to the John W. MacDonell Fund at Lima Community Foundation, P.O. Box 1086, Lima 45802. The family wishes to express its gratitude to John’s wonderful caregivers at Lima Convalescent Home, Interim HealthCare, and Mercy Health – Lima Hospice, and to the staff at the Lima Downtown Wingate for their care and concern.

Condolences may be expressed at chiles-lamanfh.com.


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