Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Obituary: Dr. Kenneth Donnelly, UC professor

International expert on hearing taught at UC for years

By Nicole Hamilton
The Cincinnati Enquirer

People from Cincinnati to China can hear better because of Dr. Kenneth Donnelly. Dr. Donnelly, a professor emeritus of audiology at the University of Cincinnati, had a long-held interest in working with deaf children that led him to first visit Nicaragua in 1983. In 1991, he established a hearing clinic in Managua.

Five years ago, the internationally recognized author and lecturer was awarded a grant from the Bahmann Foundation to spend a month in China, where he fitted elderly people with hearing aids.

The same foundation helped him establish a research facility on assistive listening devices in UC's College of Allied Sciences.

Dr. Donnelly died Saturday at Hospice of University Hospital of cancer. The longtime Springfield Township and Clifton resident was 66.

"He loved his work and being with students," said UC President Joseph Steger. "His leadership in the department made it a national presence. Ken was very thoughtful and often used humor as a tool for learning. As a friend, you could count on him. He will be missed by everyone who knew him."

A native of Queens in New York City, Dr. Donnelly earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Catholic University of America in Washington. He taught briefly at Gallaudet University in Washington before earning a doctorate in audiology at the University of Pittsburgh in 1964.

In 1967, he came to UC's Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders as a program director of speech. From 1969 to 1979, Dr. Donnelly was head of the department of communication, speech and theater.

Dr. Donnelly was a field reader and research reviewer for the U.S. Department of Education in the late '60s and the '70s. He also served as president of the Ohio Council of Audiology; chair of the development committee of the board of directors at St. Rita School for the Deaf; a member of the board of trustees of Workshops for Retarded Citizens; and a member of the executive board of the Alumni Association of the College of Arts and Sciences at UC.

When he retired in 1999, he became director of external affairs for the College of Allied Health Sciences and was responsible for alumni affairs at the new college.

Dr. Donnelly is survived by his wife, Carole Dieter Donnelly of Clifton; a daughter, Carole Helen Donnellon of Blue Ash; three sons, Andrew Peter of Trumbell, Conn., Patrick James of Columbia Tusculum, and Edwin Francis of Nashville, Tenn.; a brother, Donald W. of Anderson Township; and eight grandchildren.

Mass of Christian burial will be at 10 a.m. today at St. Monica-St. George Church, 328 W. McMillan St., University Heights. Entombment will be in Spring Grove Cemetery.

Memorials: St. Rita School for the Deaf, 1720 Glendale-Milford Road, Cincinnati, OH 45215; or to the Program in Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Cincinnati, Box 379, Cincinnati, OH 45267.


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