Longtime St. Francis HS Employee Killed in Crash

January 14, 2012 Updated Jan 14, 2012 at 11:47 PM EDT

By Allen Leight

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January 14, 2012 Updated Jan 14, 2012 at 11:47 PM EDT

HAMBURG, NY (WKBW) - The wintry weather played a major role in the fatal crash that claimed the life of a longtime St. Francis High School employee Friday night, police say.

63- year-old Pamela McDonnell was traveling south on Camp Road when she apparently lost control and spun into the northbound lane. The vehicle was then struck by an oncoming pickup truck.

McDonnell served for more than two decades as an administrative assistant at St. Francis High School.

At an Alumni event Saturday at the school, many former students shared their memories of McDonnell.

"[Pam was] A true symbol of what it means to care about a community and give back to a community and work hard on a daily basis," said Shawn Connolly, a 1990 graduate of St. Francis.

"Pam was the one that made things go for us and Pam was the one who was the salt of St. Francis. Pam will be dearly missed by all of us," said Terry Dunford, a 1980 graduate of the Franciscan school.

The president of St. Francis High School posted the following statement on the school's website:

"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.

Eternal rest grants to her, O Lord. May her soul rest in peace."

Calling hours for Pamela McDonnell are scheduled for the following times:

Monday, January 16th, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Tuesday, January 17th, 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Donald M. Demmerley Funeral Home, Inc.
21 Pierce Avenue
Hamburg, NY 14075

Mass of Christian Burial to be held Wednesday, January 18th at 10:00 a.m. at Saints Peter and Paul Church, 66 East Main Street, Hamburg, NY.