CATO — Prentice W. Donnelly Jr., 81, of Cato, passed away Monday at Auburn Community Hospital surrounded by his loving family. Prentice was born April 6, 1936 in Yonkers to the late Prentice and Ethel Sally Donnelly Sr.
At a young age Prentice moved with his family to Harrington Park, New Jersey where he attended Dumont High School and fell in love with his wife of 57 years, Rosemary Ferriero Donnelly.
Prentice began his career as an electrician, working for the Jersey Central Railroad, the New York Central Railroad and various electric companies. From there he became a master builder, constructing quality, upscale homes. Upon moving to upstate New York, Prentice dabbled in farming while serving as vice president of Drivers Independent Race Tracks (DIRT). He also built electrical generators and went on the road providing power to hundreds of classic rock concerts in the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s. He powered speeches given by presidents and was the first to generate power to the initial Lights on the Lake.
At work his nickname was "Sparky," but a home he was known as "Pops." His hobbies included woodworking, metal detecting, fishing and hunting. He enjoyed caring for exotic animals and was unsurpassed in his knowledge of the Civil War and other historic events.
He was predeceased by his parents and his sister Verne (Joe) Gould. He is survived by his devoted wife, Rosemary; his two children, James (Debra) Donnelly and Kathleen (David Ruckdeschel) Phillips; his two brothers, Glenn (Kay) Donnelly and Dudley (Louise) Donnelly; six grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend a Memorial Service at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 12, at the Weedsport United Methodist Church, Brutus Street. Contributions may be made to the Jordan Volunteer Fire Dept. The Bush Funeral Home of Elbridge has charge of arrangements.