Donnelly, Jo

Wilmington - Jo Donnelly, 85, passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 28. Her death was sudden and unexpected. Jo was born October 6, 1934 in Des Moines, IA to Robert Sandberg and Coleen Gooding Sandberg. Her given name was Verjona, but all who knew her called her “Jo.”

She is survived by two daughters, Lauren Donnelly McMahon of Wilmington and Coleen Donnelly of San Francisco, Lauren’s husband Patrick and daughter Olivia, Coleen’s partner Sebastian Roldan and her nieces Kellie and Robin Sandberg as well as a wealth of friends who she considered family. A world traveler, she visited six continents and countless countries. She loved adventure and learning about people. Her curiosity led her to continue studying the world even after her travel days were over by attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

After successfully raising two daughters, some of her greatest joy came from caring for her granddaughter, Olivia. She adored being an integral part of Olivia’s upbringing and considered it one of her greatest contributions. While Jo will be greatly missed, she would be happy knowing that all who mourn her do so with a celebratory spirit and remember her optimism and love for life.

Due to Covid-19, services are being held privately. Donations in her memory may be made to the World Wildlife Fund or the charity of your choosing.

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