John Hamilton McDonnell

I posted the below on my social media accounts on April 26 but never posted it here in my blog.

At the pond behind my father’s house this morning the birds were trading calls, red-winged blackbirds and chickadees and Canadian geese and crows singing a song of John Hamilton McDonnell, whose spirit left this earth last night. Dad loved Lake Nymphaea, on the former Wisconsin farmland on which his wife Judy was raised. He taught me to love nature, among other lessons. He was a man deeply outraged about the inequities of American society and passionate about the role of education in bringing justice and peace. The Beloit College education professor’s bookshelves are full of works by Kozol, Baldwin, Skinner, Malcolm X, Galbraith, Steinbeck. His lineage includes the many students he trained to pass on lessons of civic engagement to their students, and so on.

Dad passed peacefully after eight years of the ravages of Alzheimer’s. I’m so grateful my brothers Brett and Paul and I were able to be here before he transitioned.

You can read his obituary here.

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One response to “John Hamilton McDonnell

  1. Juneko

    I am so sorry for your loss. I, unfortunately, know the ravages of Alzheimer’s all too well. What a beautiful tribute. I recognize many titles in your Dad’s book collection.


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