Former Rockland Veterans Affairs Director, Jerry Donnellan, Dies at 71

Jerry Donnellan spoke at a Feb. 20, 2018, public hearing at the Rockland County Legislature to urge passage of two laws that specifically benefited veterans by reducing their property tax assessments to help them remain in their Rockland County.

Rockland County Executive Ed Day: “The tragic news of Jerry Donnellan’s passing is a shock. He was a hero, a three-time Purple Heart recipient and Vietnam War Veteran who served as a positive example to returning service members that they could live productive lives; even if they suffered devastating injuries as he did. Jerry gave tirelessly to this county and this country. He spent 30 years as Director of Rockland’s Veterans Agency and his contributions will not soon be forgotten. As Director Jerry started the annual watchfires every Memorial Day, oversaw the creation of the county’s first satellite Veteran’s Administration health clinic, located in New City and worked to educate veterans and their families to educate them about post-traumatic stress disorder. His loss is not only a grievous loss for me personally and our veterans, but also for the entire community of Rockland. Our deepest condolences and unwavering support to his wife Mariellyn and his entire family. He will be sorely missed.”

Rockland County Legislator Phil Soskin: “It’s almost impossible for me to accept that Jerry Donnellan is no longer with us. He spent most of his life looking out for other veterans – men and women, young and old. We are indebted to him for the many contributions he made not only to veterans in Rockland County, but to veterans across the nation. He is a hero for the everyday soldier.”

Rockland County Legislator Alden Wolfe: “Jerry Donnellan could always be counted on to step up and when he did, it was always so personable. He always put a smile on your face.”

Michael Specht, Ramapo Supervisor: “Today, we mourn the loss of Jerry Donnellan. Jerry was a tireless advocate for Rockland’s veterans and was the head of the Veterans’ Service Agency for 30 years. As a three time Purple Heart recipient who lost a leg in combat, Jerry knew firsthand the sacrifices made by service members. He established health clinics for veterans, raised awareness off PTSD and never stopped speaking out on behalf of his fellow veterans. We send our deepest condolences to his family.”

Sen. David Carlucci: “Rockland County lost a dear friend, former Director of Rockland’s Veteran Services Agency, Jerry Donnellan. I am proud to have called Jerry a friend. He was in many ways larger-than-life and his accomplishments are countless. As veteran, he was dedicated to his mission to better the lives of other veterans and he will be missed. I send thoughts and prayers to his family and wish them the the best during these trying times. Goodbye, Jerry.”

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