Members of the Woburn Police Department and residents throughout the city are grieving the loss of retired Detective Al Donnelly, who died on Sunday following a lengthy battle with illness.
Services were scheduled for Wednesday night for Donnelly, 66, who leaves behind his loving wife Julie, according to his obituary on the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home website. Donnelly was the brother of State Senator Ken Donnelly and two others, and was the father of two children.
Donnelly served in the Woburn Police Department from 1971-2011, according to Police Chief Robert Ferullo. During his tenure, Donnelly held a variety of roles including domestic violence officer, K-9 officer, detective and working as a court prosecutor.
“I knew Al for my entire time here,” said Ferullo. “He was the origin of community policing. He was a great person back then, and as I became a police officer he was a friend and mentor.”
Prior to the start of Monday night’s mayoral debate, Mayor Scott Galvin asked for a moment of silence from the capacity crowd in honor of the man who served the City of Woburn for decades.
According to Ferullo, Donnelly has been battling illness for several years, and until recent setbacks he was successfully winning his fight. In his obituary, Donnelly is remembered as a man who made a great impact.
“Over the years Al has touched many lives,” the obituary reads. “He was a man of strong character, dedicated to his family at home and his extended family at the Woburn Police Department. He was a very proud man, husband, father and Police Officer who served all with great love, dignity and respect.”
Ferullo knew Donnelly when the late detective was a young teenager, and said all of his officers have been impacted by Donnelly’s death.
“He was a friend to everybody in the department,” said Ferullo. “This is though for all of us. He was very respected throughout the community.”