Dr. Denis Francis Xavier Donnellan, DDS (Age 90) Passed away peacefully on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 in Beltsville, MD at his home.
Denis was an extremely kind and humble man, and a gentle soul. He was a devoted and caring husband to his wife, Beatrice, for 58 years, who predeceased him in 2014 after living with dementia for 17 years. He was an exceptional and loving father to his daughter, Joann Donnellan.
Denis was born in Washington, DC., on February 23, 1928. He grew up in the Brookland area, attended St. Anthony's grade school, played baseball at Turkey Thicket and was a paperboy for The Washington Star-News and The Washington Post. He graduated from Gonzaga College High School in 1945 and received his undergraduate and Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree from Georgetown University in just five years.
Denis served in the U.S. Army as a captain in the Dental Corps from 1950 to 1953. His service included action on the front lines of the Korean War.
He returned to the Washington area and built a successful dental practice in Hyattsville, MD, that thrived for more than 35 years. His patients remained fiercely loyal to Denis for decades, and one of his greatest joys was providing dental care for two and three generations of families.
He also gave back to the community by volunteering his time to provide dental care to the residents of Sacred Heart Home long-term care facility. Denis loved to golf, took pride in having multiple holes-in-one, and enjoyed playing with his buddies in Myrtle Beach. He even made custom golf clubs for family and friends. Denis had a passion for gardening and grew over 400 azalea plants at his home, which he designed and had built in 1964.
Through the years he enjoyed travelling, especially taking cruises with his family. A trip to Ireland to find his father's birthplace in County Roscommon was particularly meaningful.
Up until his passing, he was still reading two newspapers a day, enjoying his neighborhood park, cracking crabs, putting golf balls, dog sitting, and spending quality time with his family and friends.
He is predeceased by his parents, Mary Agnes (Mulhall) Donnellan and John Joseph Donnellan, who emigrated from Ireland.
Graduated from Georgetown Law School, was a lawyer for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Justice and helped craft the Social Security Act of 1935.
Denis had four siblings who passed before him: Mary Catherine McKenna, Sr. Catherine de Ricci, O.P., Patricia Donnellan, and Joseph Donnellan.
Denis will be greatly missed and lovingly remembered by his daughter, Joann, his sister-in-law, Evelyn and brother-in-law, George Stever, and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Family will receive friends at Collins Funeral Home, 500 University Boulevard West, Silver Spring, MD on Friday, June 29, from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, June 30, at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 11011 Montgomery Rd., Beltsville, MD.