Monday, August 8, 2011

WASP Madeline Sullivan Conley O'Donnell, 44-2 Aug. 4, 2011

Madeline Sullivan Conley O'Donnell A longtime resident of Menlo Park, Maddy passed away peacefully on August 4th at AlmaVia of San Francisco a few months after her 90th birthday.

Born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1921, and raised in Bellerose, Long Island, she is survived by her younger brother, Robert Sullivan, and three children, Patrick, Keelin and John (her daughter Keavy left us in 1992).   A loving step-mother to Kevin, Kerry and Mark as well, she was proud grandmother to Bill, Kimberly, Megan, Christopher, Katie, Joe and Mack, and 5 great grandchildren.

After spending one year at Chevy Chase College in Chevy Chase, MD, Maddy enlisted in the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP, Class 44-2) under Jacqueline Cochran and spent two years doing something she absolutely loved - flying.   *Mostly bombers (B-26 Marauder).

She met her first husband, John Conley II, while on the chow line in Colorado Springs in 1944; they were married nine months later in St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. She gave up her first love - flying - and they eventually settled in Larchmont, NY to raise their four children.

A few years after John's passing in 1969, she married John Gerard (Jerry) O'Donnell and expanded her living horizons to Hong Kong and Beirut, where they spent four years before moving to Menlo Park. 
Her passion for tennis, fast driving (in her Miata) and story-telling were renowned.

A Funeral service will be held at St. Dominic's Church in San Francisco on Thursday, August 11 at 11:30AM; donations to Vitas Innovative Hospice Care, 1291 East Hillsdale Blvd. Suite 225, Foster City, CA 94404


Additional facts below respectfully added by Nancy Parrish

* Madeline was stationed at Dodge City, Kansas, where she would have gone thru B-26 transition training.  She was then transferred to Gowen AAB in Boise, Idaho and, eventually, Peterson AAB in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  At each base, WASP flew  B-26's as part of the Army Air Forces training command.  Missions included tow target,  simulated attack and instrument instruction.

Photo added by Wings Across America