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Slick roads lead to death of St. Francis employee

Pamela McDonnell
Photo from St. Francis High School
Pamela McDonnell

A weather related accident in Hamburg on Friday afternoon has taken the life of a popular St. Francis High School employee.

Sixty-three year old Pamela McDonnell was killed when her car spun out of control on Camp Road and veered into oncoming traffic. McDonnell served at the school for more than twenty years, acting as the secretary to the principal.

According to school alum Shawn Connolly, McDonnell's office work did not prevent her from becoming an integral part of the school and its social events.

"Whether it was a fundraiser, an event at school, anything with the students, Pam was there and her family was there, and it's such a sad day for St. Francis and it's such a tremendous loss for the St. Francis community."

McDonnell is remembered for being fun-loving, gentle and compassionate. She is survived by her husband, four children and five grandchildren.

The family is accepting callers at the Donald M. Demmerley Funeral Home in Hamburg on both Monday and Tuesday.  The funeral will be held Wednesday.

St. Francis president. Fr. Michael Sajda, OFM Conv. issued the following statement on McDonnell's death.

"As President, it is with great sadness that I release the news to our school community, the loss of a dear friend and colleague.  Mrs. Pam McDonnell died tragically in a car accident on Friday afternoon.   Pam has been part of the St. Francis High School Family for over twenty years.   Pam has always been the consummate professional, dedicated to the students, families, faculty and staff of St. Francis.  She was a good friend and supported many Friars, Faculty and Staff with whom she worked. As an Alumni-Parent, Pam completely understood and supported the mission of St. Francis High School.  Pam always had a warm smile, so gentle and compassionate, a true Franciscan who loved her family and friends deeply. Pam, you will be missed.

On behalf of our school family, our thoughts and prayers go out to her husband Jim, to her children and their entire family."

St. Francis High School will be closed on Wednesday allowing faculty, staff and students to attend the funeral.

Saturday & Sunday 6 a.m. to 12 p.m.