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Michael Thomas McDonnell, aged 81, peacefully passed away at Stratford General Hospital on August 25, 2023. He was born on December 25, 1941, in North Bay to parents Tim and Kathleen (Kelly) and was raised in Ellice Township. In 1962, he married the love of his life, Rosie Thibodeau. They shared 55 beautiful years together until Rosie’s passing in 2018. Michael was the proud father of Tim (Brenda, née Monger), Kelli (Matthew Crowley), Sean (Amy Robern), and Dan (Tamara Kucheran). Additionally, he was a devoted and loving grandfather to Meagen, Quintin (Sara), Cullen (Allison), Lance (Tatum), Cornelius, Monica (Alexander), Steven, Fynneas, and Amelia. He also relished the joy of being a great grandfather to Caileigh, Owen, Julia, Remco, Marcas, and Eva. Michael is survived by his siblings Jerry (Carol), Len (Anne), and Agnes Croxford, as well as numerous in-laws, nieces, and nephews. Preceding him in death were his brother Walter and various in-laws.

Throughout his life, Michael was deeply passionate about Judo and dedicated himself to both learning and teaching this art form. He achieved the level of a second dan black belt and notably won the All Ontario championship in his weight division. Sensei Mike, as he was affectionately called, taught Judo to countless students over a span of 25 years. His infectious enthusiasm for his work and recreation inspired those around him. Michael’s love for his family knew no bounds, and he was a compassionate and supportive role model, always leading with a smile. Nature held a special place in his heart, and he shared his passion for the outdoors by taking his family camping, fishing, boating, and snowmobiling. He was also known for his willingness to dance with any lady who desired a partner. Raised on a farm, Michael earned immense respect throughout his various career endeavors, which included form setting, carpentry, crane operation, truck driving, and operating heavy equipment. Even in retirement, he remained active, constantly exploring new projects in his workshop and seeking more efficient methods to complete them.

A private family burial service will be held at St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Kinkora. Friends and family are invited to attend a visitation on Saturday, October 7, 2023, from 1-4 pm at W.G. Young Funeral Home, located at 430 Huron St. Stratford. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests memorial donations to be made to the Stratford-Perth Hospice, House of Blessing, or the Heart and Stroke Foundation. For more information, please visit http://www.wgyoungfuneralhome.com.

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