Richard Lee McDonnell
A Life Well Lived.
May 9th, 1947 ~ December 8th, 2021
Rick McDonnell was born May 9th, 1947, in Fort Atkinson, Wisc. His family moved to St. Petersburg, Fl. when he was eight years old. After high school he apprenticed at his father's company, McDonnell Plumbing, joined UA Local 123 and was a lifelong member. In the 1960s, he served one tour of duty in the U.S. Navy.
From early childhood, Rick had a passion for exploring nature and collecting artifacts and fossils. Starting in his early teens, he participated in several archaeological field studies, culminating more recently in his volunteering for several summer sessions at the famous Topper Site, sponsored by the University Of South Carolina. After earning an AA from St. Petersburg Junior College, he continued his studies and received a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of South Florida where he met Jaime, his love of the next 44 years.
Plants were another interest of his and in the early 1980s he started a small commercial nursery that was to become Hickory Hill Native Nursery, Inc. in Brooksville, Fl. He was a longtime member of the FANN (Florida Association of Native Nurseries) and a member of the FNPS (Florida Native Plant Society).
Music was another cornerstone of Rick's life. It was in his blood, like dirt, stones and plants. He was a man with a harp, who knew how to really get down with the Blues and lift you up in the process. He was a joy for everyone lucky enough to have known the friend, the grower, the harp player, the partner, the man who was Rick McDonnell.
Survivors include his wife and life partner, Jaime Hendry of Brooksville, Fl. and first cousins, Tari (Pete) Ristorcelli, and Thomas, Robert and James Fink.
There will be a celebration of Rick’s life at a later date to be announced.