McDONNELL, Darlene Rose

On Tuesday July 6, 2021, we said our final goodbye to our beloved Mom, and Nana, Darlene McDonnell. After emergency surgery at the end of May and a 6 week hospital stay, she is now at peace and free of pain.

Darlene was born in Montreal in June of 1952 and adopted by Cora and Arthur Massicotte.  Along with her  parents, she lived with her sister and brother-in-law, Marie and Cecil Lewis, and her nephew and nieces, Roy Lewis, Roxanne Piper, and Deb Fenske. She and Deb had a lifelong connection.  Deb was a huge part of her life and significantly influential.  She valued and cherished her childhood memories.

Her dedication to volunteerism was inspirational and admirable.  Darlene was always looking after others, expanding opportunities, searching for ways to improve inclusion, and trying to make the world a better place. She was a truly selfless woman.

Darlene took pride in her volunteer endeavours.  Her passion for volunteer work was so immense, she made a career of it.  After attending Grant MacEwan for Volunteer Management, she started her position as the volunteer coordinator for Capital Care Norwood.  She not only recruited and directed all of the volunteers; she started, implemented, and facilitated numerous programs and events to enrich the lives of their residents.

Motherhood was her favourite and most important role. As a stay at home Mom to Maggie McDonnell and Kate Adams in the early years, she helped foster a strong and vibrant community in Garden Grove Estates.  Her Grandson, Ramsey Adams was the absolute love of her life.  She generously supported Ramsey’s passion for swimming and was his number one fan.  She lived with her family in a shared home for the latter years of her life.

Anyone who had the fortune of knowing our Mom was met with compassion and respect.  She loved fiercely and garnered joy from her time with friends and living vicariously through their adventures.  Her circle was small, but abundant.  Her long term friendships with Helen Rae and Marilyn Melnychuk were indescribably meaningful and fulfilling. They were her kindred spirits, her soul mates.

Darlene’s impact on the people she loved is eternal.  She truly touched everyone she knew.  Though the loss of Nana Mac will weigh on our hearts forever, her spirit and memory will live on.

Her quirky nature shone through even in her charitable contributions. In lieu of flowers, we know our very politically opinionated Mother would be tickled to know we’ve chosen the NDP ( as a benefactor. We’ve also selected HeroRATs (; an organization that trains rats to sniff out landmines and help detect tuberculosis.

Please join us on July 22nd at the family home, 7715 183 St NW, for a lighthearted, informal Celebration of Life.  This is an open house event, and all are welcome between 1:30 and 4:30 pm.

Serenity Funeral Service (South) – 780 450 0101


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edward harrold

we met thru Movember fund raiser. She sponsored me. she didnt know me. i thought at the time . what a caring generous lady. I was fortunate to have met Darlene a couple yrs ago. I was brought their home n tho our vist wasnt long. im so honoured i did meet a truly remarkable.caring.thoughtful lady.

Deb Armstrong

A true blue and orange caring, heart on her sleeve volunteer! She was blessed with beautiful daughters and of course the apple of her eye was Ramsey. Thank you Darlene, for all you gave and still give through your family

Marie Lewis

I was always proud of her to call her sister.Her work and her girls were her life. She gave time to causes that mattered and she made a difference . My memories of a great sister will be a part of my heart forever.
love Marie

Deb Fenske

Dee as I called her was my best friend sister and aunt. We spent our lives together and I will miss her. The memories will keep her with us for a long time. Desi loves you Dee

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