He served in the United States Merchant Marines during WWII 1944-1945 as a stewards mate 1st class, and in the United States Army as a private 1st class from 1955-1957.
He retired as a master electrician, after working for many years for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW Local 103 Boston, MA). Previously, he was the President of IBEW local 223 in Brockton, MA, and was the owner of BP McDonnell engineering company. Bernie mentored many electricians over the years and was one of the first to advocate and hire female electricians into the IBEW 103.
Bernie was a man of strong faith who was a life-long member of St. Mary’s Church in Randolph. He also volunteered at the Randolph Food Pantry, and enjoyed time in the IBEW Retirees Club and the Knights of Columbus, Randolph.
He will be remembered for his stories, loud laughter and the unconditional love that he had for his wife of 61 years, his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, brothers, sisters and nieces and nephews. Bernie was happiest when surrounded by his family. His eyes lit up when his grandchildren and great grandchildren visited. He and his wife followed the grandchildren around to all of their sporting events and were called Grammy and Grandpa by the grandkid’s teammates. Together, Bernie and his family enjoyed many vacations within the United States and abroad. He also had a passion for boating, fishing, and lobstering especially at his home on Cape Cod. He also enjoyed hunting with his brothers and friends, and was an avid reader.
Bernie is survived by his beloved wife, Sarah “Sally” (Lynch) McDonnell and his 3 children Bernard McDonnell Jr. and his fiancé Linh Thuy Nguyen, Mary Ann McDonnell and loving companion James Hardy, and Matthew McDonnell. He was a cherished grandfather to Christie Thomas-Moffett and spouse Samantha, Jodi Maxwell and spouse Phillip, and Derek Moffett and 3 great-grandsons: Oliver, Maxwell and Cillian. Bernie is also survived by 1 sister-in-law Nancy McDonnell, and many nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his brothers and sisters: Anne Stella and husband John, Thomas McDonnell and wife Phyllis, Theresa LeVangie and husband Bill, Mary Finch, Joseph McDonnell, and Patrick (PT) McDonnell and wife Shirley. Family and friends will honor and remember Bernie with a wake on Monday, March 9th, 2020 from 4:00 – 8:00 PM in the Cartwright Funeral Home, 419 No. Main St. (Rt. 28), Randolph. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Tuesday, March 10th, 2020 at 10:00 AM in St. Mary’s Church, 211 No. Main St., Randolph, MA
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Friendly Randolph Food Pantry, 1 Turner Ln, Randolph, MA 02368.
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