Ellen O'Donnell Nalley
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Obituary of Ellen Anne O'Donnell Nalley

Ellen O’Donnell Nalley, 71, of Danbury, CT passed away suddenly on the morning of January 19, 2024 surrounded by the love of her family after a brief illness. 

Ellen was born on September 10, 1952 in Cooperstown, NY to parents, Philip D. O’Donnell, Sr. and Frances (Fagan) O’Donnell, for whom she had a deep unending love. Her childhood was idyllic with summer days spent in Sea Island, Georgia, and winters ice-skating with her brother Philip D. O’Donnell, Jr. 

Ellen graduated from Kenwood Academy of the Sacred Heart in 1970 and D’Youville College in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. For decades, she devoted her life to bringing babies into this world as a Labor and Delivery nurse.  Ellen leaves this life not only having brought so many into it, but by truly touching the hearts of everyone she met. Ellen‘s greatest pride was the family that she created with the love of her life, John R. Nalley, III (Jack). They were married on September 18,1976 and had three adored children, Elizabeth Nalley, John R. Nalley IV, and Patrick Nalley. She thrived as a wife, mother, grandmother, and great grandmother. Ellen had many nicknames but was fondly known to many as “Manya”, “Nalley”, and “Bel”. She was always willing to drop anything to help anyone.  Ellen enjoyed spending time with her family in Ogunquit Maine and Pawley’s Island SC, traveling with friends, watching the NY Yankees, and visiting with her dear friend Karen and her dogs. 

In eternal life, she is met by her husband Jack, her parents Philip and Frances, her beloved aunt Helen (Honey), her beloved basset hound Weezie AKA Louise Marie, her grand dogs Jeter and Remy, and a multitude of cherished family and friends. She is survived by her children Elizabeth, John, Patrick his wife Missy, her grandchildren Chase, Reese, Kaidyn, Lillian, McKenna, and John V, her great granddaughter Camila, her brother Philip and his wife Diane, sister-in-law’s Charlotte and her husband Andrew Vena and Pamela Williams, several nieces and nephews and many other dear family and friends. Ellen was the embodiment of what it means to build community. All her life she was a fierce and thoughtful friend creating space for every new person she connected with. Her loss is one that will be felt for a very long time.

Visitation hours will be at Cornell Memorial, 247 White Street, Danbury on Friday 1/26 from 4:30PM-7:30PM.  Saturday 1/27 there will be mass at 10:00 AM at St. Gregory the Great Church, followed by burial at Wooster cemetery.

In lieu of flowers a memorial contribution may be made to DAWS at https://daws.org/general-donations, March of Dimes at https://www.marchofdimes.org/donate, or fundraiser for her grandchildren’s college fund https://go.fidelity.com/x0x1om.



4:30 pm - 7:30 pm
Friday, January 26, 2024
Cornell Memorial Home
247 White Street
Danbury, Connecticut, United States

Mass of Christian Burial

10:00 am
Saturday, January 27, 2024
St. Gregory The Great Church
85 Great Plain Road
Danbury, Connecticut, United States


Wooster Cemetery
Ellsworth Avenue
Danbury, Connecticut, United States
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