George J. Donnelly, 84, died peacefully March 15, 2010, at the Knox Center for Long Term Care in Rockland.

George was born in Lynn, Mass., in 1925. He graduated from Lynn Classical High School in 1943, and immediately enlisted in the Marine Corps. He was stationed in California, China and the Pacific Theatre and remained in the Marine Corps Reserves until 1950.

George received a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from Suffolk University, and worked as a sports writer for many years at the Boston Herald Traveler. He counted many professional and amateur sports figures as his friends and colleagues. He left the newspaper to work in public relations for Sylvania and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for several years until he retired from public relations and fulfilled his dream to move to Ireland. George and his wife, Nell, lived on the west coast of Ireland for 10 years, where George continued to work and write and they both made many dear friends.

George and Nell returned to the United States in 1989, and settled in Rockland, where he worked as a security guard at the Farnsworth Art Museum. He loved good writing, good conversation, his family and his many friends. His ability to tell a great story was legendary, and will be sorely missed by those who knew and loved him. He was a member of St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Rockland.

George is survived by his beloved wife and friend of 57 years, Elinor “Nell” Donnelly; his son, Michael Donnelly and daughter-in-law, Deborah of Rockland; and his son, Garry Donnelly and his partner Val in Colorado. George is also survived by his sister, Elizabeth Szypko and her family; his granddaughter, Crystal Donnelly and her partner Pete; his granddaughters, Erin and Jesse Donnelly, and his grandson Declan Donnelly. He was delighted to be the proud great-grandfather to Crystal and Erin’s children, Cody, Morgan, Anna and Ava, and Ellie, Jack and Eva.

A memorial service for family and friends will be held at a later date. Donations in George’s name can be made to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, 6931 Arlington Road, Second Floor, Bethesda, MD 20814, a charity that was very close to his heart.