East Aurora Advertiser

Obituary: Thomas Q. McDonnell, Air Force Veteran, Retired FBI Agent

Thomas Q. McDonnell

Jan. 12, 1942-Feb. 9, 2023

Thomas Q. McDonnell, formerly of East Aurora, died peacefully in his sleep Thursday, February 9, on Anna Maria Island, Fla., from complications from Parkinson’s disease. He was 81.

Mr. McDonnell, a veteran of the United States Air Force, served four years as an intelligence officer based in Maui, Hawaii, and Biloxi, Mississippi, among other places. He achieved the rank of captain. 

Upon leaving the Air Force, Mr. McDonnell began his professional career under J. Edgar Hoover in the FBI in 1969. He served in Cincinnati, then transferred to Buffalo as a special agent fighting organized crime. He retired from the FBI in 1993.

Upon his retirement, Mr. McDonnell became a private detective in Florida. After closing his private investigation business, he earned his real estate license and enjoyed a successful career as a realtor on Anna Maria Island, Florida.

He was an alumnus of The Gow School, Nichols School and St. Francis College in Pennsylvania. In his leisure time, McDonnell was an avid golfer, playing many WNY courses where he was never seen without a Miller Lite in his hand.

Mr. McDonnell is survived by sons Thomas McDonnell Jr., Edward “Ned” (Sarah) McDonnell, Gregory (Robby) McDonnell; daughter Julia McDonnell; and six grandchildren. He is also survived by seven siblings: Mary McDonnell, John “Hubba” McDonnell, Edward (Ruth) McDonnell, Jean (late Elmer) Covelli, Patrick McDonnell, Nancy (Rodney) Reynolds, and Peter (Susie) McDonnell.

He was predeceased by his wife Barbara, in 2018, and his parents John Q. and Faith B. McDonnell of East Aurora. 

Funeral services will be held on Anna Maria Island and a memorial service in East Aurora will be planned later this summer, with the dates to be announced.

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