Friends and family mourn well-known Rockland vet

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WEST NYACK -

Friends and family are mourning one of Rockland's most well-known and decorated war veterans.

Hundreds of people came to the Joseph S. Sorce Funeral Home on Tuesday to pay their respects to Jerry Donnellan, who passed away Friday.

Donnellan served as the director of Rockland Veterans Service Agency for 30 years. The 71-year-old was also a three-time Purple Heart recipient and a United States Army sergeant.

Donnellan lost his leg in Vietnam. When he came back to his home in Rockland, Donnellan dedicated his life to helping other veterans recover from their service after he learned the statistics of veteran suicides. He even gave up his decade-long career as Frank Sinatra's stage manager for the cause.

"He just didn't want his brothers from any conflict to suffer if they didn't have to," says Donnellan's son Sean. "He was kind of a champion of the underdogs."

Donnellan is survived by his wife, two sons and three grandchildren. A GoFundMe page has been created to continue Donnellan's efforts to help veterans.

His funeral will be held Thursday at the Fire Training Center in Pomona, followed by a military graveside ceremony and an Irish wake.

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