In Memory of



Obituary for Steven McDonell

Steven Allen McDonell passed away on May 27th, 2023 at the age of 67 at home surrounded by his loving family, after a brave fight against cancer. He is survived by his soulmate and devoted wife of 41 years, Anne, his daughters, Jessica Rae and Kathryn Rose, and his darling granddaughter, Sophia Rose. Steve is also survived by his younger sister Cheryll and her family; Cheryll was with Steve in his last moments, and provided comfort at his bedside. Steve is also survived by his brother, Ray Dawson and family, his cousin Shawn and her husband Craig and family, his uncle Harvey and family, and extended family in the Fresno area. Steve was heartbroken by the passing of his adventurous and charismatic younger brother, Mark, in 2016. Steve was preceded by his dad Ron, to whom he was very close. Towards the end, Steve spoke of being reunited with his father. Steve’s stepmother Zella loved him dearly and passed from cancer. Kathryn and Sophia’s middle names are a tribute to her. Steve was also preceded by his mother Henrietta who, much like Steve, loved her family deeply and fiercely. His family finds comfort that he is met on the other side by so many who loved him.

In 1999 Steve and his family moved back to his childhood home in Pacifica and lived across the street from his in-laws, Bob and Jean Griggi. Bob and Jean have loved Steve since he was a child and provided much support to Steve, Anne, and their girls over the years, and especially over the last few difficult months.

Steve enjoyed the camaraderie of being on a team and played Little League for Nick's Restaurant when his family moved to Pacifica. Steve played high school football for Terra Nova, and after graduating, played baseball on teams with his high school buddies. Steve was an expert game strategist, and thoroughly enjoyed engaging in its execution! Later on, Steve worked as a sheet metal worker with Local 104 for 40 years, turning out in 1979, and then working for Valley Sheet Metal and CMI. He also worked with his late cousin Bruce and Uncle Harvey during his career. Steve was a hard worker, who took pride in what he did and relished being on a jobsite with his crew.

Steve leaves behind a passion for skiing, sports, and car racing. Steve was a fan of the Niners, Giants, Sharks and Warriors. One of his final outings with his girls and his sons-in-law was to see Patrick Marleau’s number retired at the Shark Tank. Steve was an animal lover and gently tended to foster kittens his girls begged him to take in. Steve loved listening to great music (Pink Floyd, Rolling Stones, Bonnie Raitt, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaugn, etc) and gave many car ride quizzes about who was being played on the radio.

Steve was a man of deep faith, with scriptures tucked in his wallet, and a Bible open on his work bench at the time of his passing. Fittingly, his Bible was open to Psalms 30 which reads “O Lord my God, I pleaded with you, and you gave me my health again. You brought me back from the brink of the grave, from death itself, and here I am alive!” Steve’s family takes much comfort that Steve is with the Lord, without pain, and they will be reunited someday.

Steve gave his enthusiastic blessing to both of his sons-in-law and walked both of his daughters down the aisle at their weddings; Kathryn to her long time partner and much loved member of the family, Matt Munroe, and Jessica just at the end of last year to her prince charming and loved addition to the family, Daniel Hecht. Steve lived to meet his first grandchild, Kathryn and Matt’s beautiful and precocious daughter Soph. He will forever be her “Peepop”. Steve and Anne were married for 41 years, but had been a part of each other’s lives from the age of 13, living across the street from each other with their families closely knit. Jessica and Kathryn grew up with an incredible example of true love; Steve and Anne’s unconditional devotion was obvious until the very end. Anne brought Steve home in honor of his wishes and took compassionate care of him, keeping him as comfortable as possible and surrounding him with love in his last weeks.

Integrity is sometimes defined as doing the right thing when no one is looking, or doing the best you can with what you have, and no one has ever shown more integrity in their life and death than Steve McDonell. He made the difficult decision to start chemotherapy, knowing he was engaging in a war he couldn't win, but chose to fight for more time with those who loved him, and his bravery, strength and dignity will never be forgotten by his family and friends. He danced with his daughter at her wedding after his diagnosis and months of devastating chemo treatments. He doted on his granddaughter and took so much pride in the beautiful lives he helped create for his daughters. His courageous and inspiring battle against cancer was the final act of sacrifice in a life spent sacrificing for his family, and his wife and daughters will never forget his selfless love and dedication.

Steve instilled in his daughters a strong sense of the importance of giving back, and they fondly remember waking up at 5:00 AM on a Saturday to go with their dad to participate in the SHARE program, providing groceries to those in need. In honor of these memories, Steve’s family asks donations be made to the SF Marin Food Bank in lieu of flowers.

Steve’s most important lesson, the number one rule, was to always stick together and we will Dad, we absolutely will.

The service will be held at 11:00 AM on Thursday, June 15th at New Life Christian Fellowship, located at 1125 Terra Nova Blvd.