James Lowe Donnell passed away on October 5, 2017 in San Antonio, Texas. Jim was born January 11, 1936 in San Antonio to Beryl Lowe Rice and James Webb Donnell.
A fifth generation South Texas rancher, Jim’s great, great grandfather was James (Jim) Lowe, who came to McMullen County in 1857 and ranched the open range. The subsequent generations set the course for Jim Donnell to ranch. Being a humble man, Jim always said it took great sacrifice, hard work and determination by generations before which allowed him to ranch these lands. He had immense regard for his father, grandfathers, and their accomplishments. He also had tremendous appreciation for the land, the business of ranching and making sure the generations to follow appreciate the ranching legacy. Jim said, “The land is always good to you, don’t ever sell it.”
Jim attended the San Antonio Academy, Texas Military Institute and the University of Texas. After completing his education, he returned to South Texas to the family ranch, where he began ranching alongside his father.
The cattle business, as well as his many friends, allowed him to pursue other business endeavors. He had a knack for making sound business decisions, and an innate sense of how much risk to take. He was a great historian and a keen genealogist with a mind for remembering names, dates and places. He particularly loved South Texas ranching history and deciphering family trees. He took great pride in figuring out, with some accuracy, how to make someone “kin” to someone else. His love of ice cream, Mexican polkas and corridos, were passions that he shared with all, whether they liked it or not.
Jim was a Director and Honorary Vice President of the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, an organization that he held in high regard that provided him with lasting friendships. He was a member of several social organizations. He received conservation and ranching awards and served his community by serving on the boards of area banks, as well as other various organizations.
No family could be more thankful for the husband, father, grandfather, cousin, and friend that Jim was. His family was of the upmost importance to him, and he led all with love, compassion and sound advice. For this we are ever grateful.
He is survived by his wife Eleanor Leighton Johnson (Collier) Donnell, daughter Cydney Collier Donnell Lotito and husband Robert, son James L. “Jamie” Donnell, Jr. and wife Lori, and five grandchildren, Austin Lotito, Asianna (John) Harper, Lacie Lee, Courtney (Jay Russell) Burrous, Allison Donnell, along with many relatives and more friends than you can count or name.
Our family would like to give a special thanks to his caregivers, who with compassion and love provided him comfort, care and entertainment.
A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held at Christ Episcopal Church, 510 Belknap Place, San Antonio, Texas 78212 at 1:30 p.m. on October 13, 2017. He will be interned in a private burial at the Hilltop Cemetery in Tilden prior to the memorial service. Funeral arrangements provided by Hurley’s Funeral Home in Pleasanton.
Should friends desire, memorials may be made to a charity of their choice.