Jean "Mema" (Frick) McDonnell

February 25, 1938 ~ May 14, 2018 (age 80)

Jean “Mema” (Frick) McDonnell, 80, Hollidaysburg, passed away peacefully on Monday, May 14, 2018, at her home surrounded by her family.

She was born February 25, 1938, in Pittsburgh, moments before her beloved twin sister, Jane, and daughter of the late Albert and Ida (Amsler) Frick. In November of 1962, she married William McDonnell at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Altoona.

Surviving are her husband of 57 years; a daughter, Dana Bearer; three sons: Chris, Mike and Mark and wife, Shannon; eight grandchildren, whom she adored: Jacob, Allison and Gregory Bearer, and Gaige, Eva, Emma, Chase and Elle McDonnell; her twin sister, Jane and husband, Ron Gottshall; a special niece and Goddaughter, Robin Weirich and husband, Brad; a nephew, Scott Gottshall and wife, Tracey; a niece, Holly Bretzius and husband, Jon; many great-nieces and nephews, who were like grandchildren to her; a daughter-in-law, Shannon McDonnell; and her dear friend, Joyce Lepore.

Mema was a 1955 graduate of Altoona Catholic High School, and she was a good dedicated Christian woman.

Her legacy will be remembered for her unconditional love for her family and her ability to keep the home a place for everyone to feel welcome. She loved to bake and cook for her family and friends, she loved to be a spectator at athletic events (only when her grandkids played!) and she thoroughly enjoyed all of the kids who passed through her home over the years.

She loved to play competitive cards and games with her sister and grandchildren. She was an animal lover and a gentle soul who helped to raise several dogs, birds, hamsters and mice and her beloved cat, Luna. Overall, she had a great life, blessed with people who adored her as a wife, mother, sister, aunt grandmother and friend.

Friends will be received from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 19, 2018, at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church, Hollidaysburg, where a funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, Monsignor Stanley B. Carson celebrant. Committal will be at Greenlawn Cemetery, Hollidaysburg. Arrangements are by Sorge Funeral Home Inc., Hollidaysburg.

The family wishes to extend a special thanks to the “Angel” nurses of the 14th Floor of UPMC Altoona and Home Nursing Agency Hospice, who cared for Mema during this difficult time. “Your compassion made it bearable.”


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