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Obituary of William G. Donnell
Bill Donnell was born on February 11, 1945 to Jack Donnell and Evelyn Urton in Spokane, Washington. He was the second born, younger brother to his sister, Jacki Ann. The family soon moved to Missoula, Montana before Bill and Jacki moved with their mom to Boise, Idaho. Bill attended Lowell and Campus Elementary through 6th grade and then on to East Jr. High and Boise High School, where he loved to play basketball and baseball. Bill worked his way through school working part-time jobs at Two Boys In and out picking up trash twice a day making 25 cents and working in the old Bosco Super Store. Bill went to the University of Idaho and Boise Junior College before his best friend, Mike Mather, talked him into transferring to Idaho State University. There they spent most of their time bird hunting and little time studying. Returning to Boise, he graduated from Boise State University in 1968 with a degree in Business Administration.
As a child, Bill spent every summer with his cousin, aunt, and uncle on the family ranch in Ritzville, Washington. There he delighted in driving tractors, combines and, when his cousin Bruce would let him, the sports cars.
He had an instant family when he married Jean Boyenger in 1975 and became stepfather to her two boys, Steve and Eric. Bill went to work for Intermountain Gas Company in 1976. The family moved to Idaho Falls where Julie Ann was born in 1976 and Lisa Diane in 1978. In 1981, the family returned to Boise. Bill and Jean later divorced. Bill worked as the Conservation Manager for Intermountain Gas Company and then the Industrial Sales Manager and Vice President of Intermountain Gas Industries, a subsidiary of Intermountain Gas Company. He retired in marketing from Intermountain Gas Company in 2009 after 33 years.
In 1988, Bill met and married Christine Hunt DeSilvia. Christine was the love of his life, and their devotion to and love for each other was clear throughout their years together. Christine brought two daughters, Stacy and Trisha, their spouses, and two little babies into his life. Ultimately, those babies were joined by three more and Bill soon was called Grumpa! Yes, he could be a grumpy grandpa, but he really did love and cherish his grandchildren.
Bill was always active in community service, serving on the boards of the Meridian Food Bank and Boise Neighborhood Housing. He was a member of the Boise and Meridian Chambers of Commerce, Meridian Kiwanis, and represented Intermountain Gas Company as a founding member of the State Department of Commerce.
Bill loved boating, fishing, and hunting, but mostly spending summers at the Ritzville ranch. After inheriting the ranch, he continued his love of the land, dry wheat farming, and his relationships with the many good friends he came to know in Ritzville.
Bill traveled so much in his work that initially it didn’t appeal to him to travel outside the country, but he and Christine traveled to England, China, Europe, Scandinavia, and Italy where he came to love the wonderful cultures of other countries and, for the most part, wasn’t too grumpy flying and riding in a bus.
His mother, father, and brother-in-law, Art Amos, preceded Bill in death. He leaves behind his adoring wife, Christine, his loving daughters, Julie Donnell (Rachel) and Lisa Donnell (Grace), stepsons Steve (Kira) and Eric Boyenger, his sister, Jacki Ann Amos, and nephews Kirk and Jeremy Amos. He is mourned by his stepdaughters Stacy Coolberth and Trisha Dunkle (Gary); grandchildren Candace, Carly, Collin, Tyler, and Jaycee. He will be missed by Christine’s sisters, Kareen (Chuck), Shannon (Tom), Arlyn, and brother, Hal (Becky), and stepsister Julie plus a host of wonderful nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, please support the Meridian Food Bank or a charity of your choice. No formal service will be held per Bill’s wishes.
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