Michael E. McDonnell, 76, of River Forest, died on April 17, 2018 surrounded by his family. Born in Davenport, Iowa, he was in the first graduating class of Assumption High School where he was captain of the football team. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame, and, after college, moved to Chicago where he met his wife, Judie. The couple lived in River Forest for 47 years and raised six children. Actively involved in T-ball, softball, TOPS Swimming and swimming officiating, he always enjoyed being involved in his children’s activities. A member of the Oak Park Country Club for 38 years, he served as pool chairman for a decade. 

He began his career in Chicago at Arthur Young as an auditor and was then hired by Swift and Company in the early 1970s as an executive. Promoted to CFO of Swift and Company, he eventually became vice president of finance with Swift’s parent company, Esmark. When Esmark was purchased by Beatrice, he retired from the corporate world and founded GMV Inc. with his close friend and longtime business partner, John Vassiliades. He owned GMV, a laundromat and real-estate holding company, with John throughout the remainder of his life. In August of 2004, he founded McDonnell & Associates Inc., a real estate holding company, with his son, Jeff, and nephew, Matt, which he also owned throughout the remainder of his life. 

Michael McDonnell was the husband of Judie (nee Seidel); the father of Teresa (Michael) Humphries, Jeffrey (Diane), Allison (JT) Terry, Megan (Brian) Ellis, Michael, and Jeremy (Alyssa); the grandfather of Zoe, Charlotte, Addison, Quinn, Molly and Rowan; the brother of Lawrence (Jackie) and Patrick (Patricia); the brother-in-law of David (Carol); and the uncle and great-uncle of many nieces and nephews. 

Visitation will be held on Friday, April 27 from 4 until 8:30 p.m. at Chicago’s Peterson-Bassi Chapels, 6938 W. North Ave. followed by a funeral service on Saturday, April 28 at 11 a.m. in River Forest’s Grace Lutheran Church, 7300 Division St. 

Private interment will take place on a later date at Grace Memorial Garden, on the grounds of Grace Lutheran Church. 

In lieu of flowers, please send donations in memoriam of Michael E. McDonnell to AFTD (Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration), Radnor Station, Building 2, Suite 320, 290 King of Prussia Road, Radnor, PA 19087, www.theaftd.org.

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