Julia Ann McDonagh

February 19, 2021


Julia (Sheila) Ann McDonagh (nee Leahy), 87, of Baurgorm, Bantry, County Cork, Ireland. Preceded in death by her devoted husband Thomas McDonagh of Poulnaclough, Moycullen, County Galway, Ireland. Adoring mother of  Malachy--CFD (Eileen), Lily (Jack Gallagher) and John--NU/Local 134/Local 399. Beloved grandmother of Malachy, Clodagh, Declan, Tallulah, Pierce and Breda. Loving sister of the late Michael (Philomena), Mary Jo, Finbarr, Theresa (John), and Nuala (Harry). Treasured aunt/grand aunt of many and cherished friend to many more in Chicago, Boston, New York, St. Louis, England and Ireland. Sheila was a proud Chicago Democrat and retired R.N. who served thousands of patients over a 55-year career as a nurse midwife in London and then as a nurse/nursing manager/nursing supervisor at the Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN), Rush University Medical Center and Swedish Covenant Hospital (Chicago). Sheila was a gifted storyteller with a near-photographic memory who loved spending time with her grandchildren, all things from/about County Cork, Saturday Night Live, Friday Fish Fries at the Atlantic Bar and Grill, meeting new people and hearing their stories, Greek chicken from Hubs, electric blankets, sparring about politics, warm fires on cold nights, homemade trifle, her dog Pepper, saying the rosary, hosting parties, attending mass, requesting songs on the Irish Hour, sharing compliments, giving gifts, long telephone conversations with friends, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews, and baking the world’s best soda bread. A tireless and devoted advocate of family and faith, Sheila will be remembered always by those who had the great fortune to know and love her.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the House of the Good Shepherd, P.O. Box 13453, Chicago IL 60613-0453 ( or St. Patrick Fathers, 8422 W. Windsor Ave. Chicago, IL 60656-4252. Visitation Saturday, February 27, 2021 from 9:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at St. Matthias Church, 2310 W. Ainslie, Chicago, IL 60625. To ensure the safety of all attendees, registration is required for the visitation. Register via Although the funeral Mass will be private to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions, the Mass will be livestreamed on Saturday, February 27, 2021 at 12:00 pm/noon CST via the St. Matthias Church Facebook page at For more information, call 773-588-5850 or visit Sheila’s memorial page at

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February 27, 2021

9:30 AM to 11:30 AM
St. Matthias
2310 W. Ainslie
Chicago, Illinois 60625

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