William Maurice Donnell Sr., 84, of Columbia passed away peacefully from this life to be with the Lord surrounded by family on Jan. 5, 2021, at Boone Hospital Center in Columbia.

William, known to others as Maurice, was born in Columbia, Missouri, to the late Earl Donnell and Ethel Young on Aug. 4, 1936. He was a 1955 graduate of Douglass High School and a 22-year Air Force veteran. After enlisting in the service, he went on to marry his high school sweetheart, Shirley Brown, on March 9, 1956. She preceded him in death on Sept. 26, 1992.

Maurice enjoyed sports immensely, and you could often find him watching his beloved Rams, Lakers and Dodgers. He also enjoyed spending time at Douglass Park watching the youth play ball. He would reminisce of days gone by, sharing memories of playing in various basketball tournaments while in service, being team captain and playing against various professional basketball players in pick up games.

He would share memories of his children and grandchildren when they were small. Later in life he liked to help guide youth to avoid the pitfalls and mistakes he had made in his own life.

Maurice married a second time in May 2015 to Leah Michelle Deitz. They enjoyed spending time together, gardening, grilling, music and lots of love and laughter.

He leaves to cherish his memory, his loving wife Leah and his youngest daughter, Devon, of the home; sons, Timothy Donnell and his wife, Debra, William (Billy) Donnell Jr. & Kami, Rodney Donnell and wife, Tameka, all of Columbia; daughter Marti Donnell of Carlsbad, Calif. ; daughters Karmen Donnell, Kim Donnell and Christina Donnell, all of Columbia; stepdaughters Kathleen Riesner and husband, Trevor, Amelia Deitz & Nick; stepsons Philip Jackson & Ashley and Grant Otto; 27 grandchildren; 50 great-grandchildren; one sister, Shirley Buford of Columbia; dear friends Ella Reese of Mexico, Rusty Drewing, Kaycie “Vampire Teeth” Riesner; and a host of nieces and nephews and other family and friends.

In addition to his parents and wife Shirley, Maurice is preceded in death by one infant son, one daughter, Donna Donnell; one granddaughter, Nikia Hambright, one grandson, JaJuan Donnell, one sister, Joyce Malveaux, and one brother, Millard “Abe” Young.

Honoring his wishes the family has left arrangements to Columbia Cremation Care Center. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.

A special thank you to his children, Rodney Donnell, Karmen Donnell, Kim Donnell and Christina Donnell for all the help, care and love shown him in his final days.

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