Burial will be at Willow Creek Cemetery in Royal.
Mr. McDonnell passed away Friday, Jan. 27, 2012, at Mercy Medical Center in Sioux City.
James Harold McDonnell, the son of Thomas Harold and Mary Josephine "Mae" (Higley) McDonnell, was born May 28, 1937, in Whittemore, Ia. His childhood years were spent in Whittemore, where he received his early education. He graduated from the Presentation Academy in 1955. James continued his education at Iowa Lakes Community College in Emmetsburg and later Buena Vista College, where he received his BA degree. He began his teaching and coaching career at Greenville/Rossie School, while living in Spencer.
Jim married Almeda Bohn on October 20, 1962, in Spirit Lake, Ia.. Following their marriage, they moved to Royal as he continued his educational career as the school merged into Clay Central School in Royal. He had a prolific career in coaching many girls' sports at Clay Central, including track, softball and basketball. Jim was Girl's Basketball Advisory Coach of the Year in 1972, received the Jerry Golden award presented by the N.W. Iowa Coaches and Officials and received the Hall of Fame award in 1991. He was also a member of the State of Iowa Girl's Basketball Advisory Board. Jim was looking forward to his induction to the Girl's Iowa High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame in March. In his spare time, he enjoyed fishing, trapping, hunting (Bear, Moose, Elk etc.) and was a founding member of the Iowa Great Lake's Fishing Club in 1968 and still served as its president. Jim was a member of St. Louis Catholic Church in Royal and the Lion's Club. Jim was known for many years as the "Fishing Professor" for his extensive knowledge of nationwide fishing and for his newspaper column and radio spots.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers: John "Jack" and Michael McDonnell and a granddaughter, Kelsey.
Left to cherish his memory are his wife, Almeda of Royal, Ia.; one son, Steven McDonnell and his wife, Chris of Andover, Minn.; two daughters: Vienne "Jody" Cordet of Tenino, Wash., and Kelly Jo McDonnell of Lino Lake, Minn.; seven grandchildren: Ian and Luke McDonnell, Jamison, Rutger, Xandros and Viola Cordet and Hayden Weiner; two sisters: Mary Ford of Sante, Calif. and Maureen McDonnell of Sioux City, Ia.; other relatives and many friends.
Warner Funeral Home of Spencer is in charge of arrangements.