The community of Greenville, S.C. recently said good bye to one of its most loved and outstanding officers. Sergeant Brian Richard Donnelly passed away on Saturday, November 30, 2013 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. He was laid to rest on December 5.
Donnelly devoted his whole life to serving both God and his community. He was a fixture among the community, much loved and respected by everyone.
Donnelly’s 40- year law enforcement career began with Bob Jones University Department of Public Safety, where he served for 16 years. He transferred to Greenville County Sheriff’s Office in 1989; he was promoted to sergeant in 2002.
Donnelly served in many capacities during his tenure at the Sheriff’s Office. He was active with numerous community boards that addressed homelessness, domestic violence, and child advocacy issues. Donnelley supervised the Community Patrol program and taught safety class at numerous churches and businesses.
Donnelly adored young people, and he became a father figure to many of them. He and his wife led the Cadet Program, mentoring and teaching teens about law enforcement and community service. Because of his earnest desire to protect the community (especially the younger generation), Donnelley also played an avid role in fighting underage drinking.
Donnelly was twice named South Carolina’s Crime Prevention Officer of the Year. The Sheriff’s Office also recognized his many accomplishments with numerous and awards. For his outstanding service with the Alcohol Enforcement team, Donnelly received the Outstanding Community Leadership Award; but for him, the real reward was the knowledge that lives may have been saved through law enforcement and education.
“Brian was a friend and a faithful servant to the Lord; to the community that he lived in; and to many police departments around the world,” Jerry and Yong of The Hope Foundation wrote on legacy.com. “We grieve with the knowledge of his loss; yet we also rejoice at the knowledge that we shall see him again.”
“Sergeant Donnelly was a wonderful man and instructor, not only in law enforcement and other areas, but also a true instructor in his walk with the Lord,” wrote Brian Huffman, of Greenville, S.C. “Thank you, Brian, for all that you taught me.”
Colin Heaton accurately described Donnelly as “an inspiration and a blessing to everyone he met.” He will be greatly missed by everyone.
Donnelly is survived by: Christine, his loving wife of 37 years; a large extended family; friends from his church; GCSO Explorer Post 817; and his brothers and sisters in Law Enforcement. He was preceded in death by his brother, Jerry Donnelly; his grandparents Calvin and Elva Donnelly; and Lawrence and Mary Peterson.
Sergeant Brian Donnelly: Gone, but never forgotten.
“Graphic created by Fellow Officer Rose Borisow GraFX”
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