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Michael Thomas McDonnell passed away on August 25, 2023, at Stratford General Hospital, with his family by his side. He was born on December 25, 1941, in North Bay to Tim and Kathleen (Kelly) and grew up in Ellice Township. In 1962, he married his beloved wife, Rosie (Thibodeau), and they shared 55 years of marriage until Rosie’s passing in 2018. Michael was a proud father to Tim, Kelli, Sean, and Dan, and a loving grandfather to Meagen, Quintin, Cullen, Lance, Cornelius, Monica, Steven, Fynneas, and Amelia. He was also a great-grandfather to Caileigh, Owen, Julia, Remco, Marcas, and Eva.

Throughout his life, Michael was a dedicated student and teacher of Judo. He achieved his second dan black belt and won the All Ontario in his weight division. As Sensei Mike, he passionately taught Judo, also known as “the gentle way,” to countless students for 25 years. Michael’s infectious enthusiasm extended beyond Judo as he approached both work and leisure with equal zest. A true family man, he led by example with a smile and had an unending love for his family. He enjoyed outdoor activities such as camping, fishing, boating, and snowmobiling. Michael was known for his kind-hearted nature and never refused a dance with a lady.

Growing up on a farm, Michael developed a strong work ethic and carried this with him throughout his various careers. He excelled in form setting, carpentry, crane operation, truck driving, and heavy equipment operation, gaining respect in each profession. Even in retirement, he remained active by working in his shop on different projects, always seeking more efficient ways to complete them.

A private family burial will be held at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Kinkora. A visitation for friends and family will take place at W.G. Young Funeral Home, Stratford, on Saturday, October 7, 2023, from 1-4 pm. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Stratford-Perth Hospice, House of Blessing, or Heart and Stroke Foundation. For more information, please visit http://www.wgyoungfuneralhome.com.

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