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Michael Francis Munnelly Sr. November 8, 1949 - July 19, 2018

Michael Francis Munnelly Sr.

Nov. 1949 – July 2018

With sorrow in my heart, I share with you that Michael Francis Munnelly Sr. passed away peacefully in Modesto, California surrounded with the love from his wife, his children and grandchildren on July 19, 2018. Mike was born in Elizabeth New Jersey on November 8, 1949 to Sophie and Edward Munnelly. He is one of their four children:  Lori (John) Lambert, Brian (Zeida) Munnelly, and Sue (Dave) Lloyd. He loved baseball, basketball, football, boxing and softball. He was a standout baseball player who graduated from Jefferson High in 1967 and went on to coach the Union County Slow Pitch Champions – Cambridge House of Elizabeth, New Jersey. Mike married his first wife Neyda in 1968 and together they had 3 beautiful children, Michelle (Corey) Reid, Michael (Laura) Munnelly and Monica Munnelly. His children blessed him with 7 grandchildren: Alicia, Brittney, Kristen, Megan Reid, Nikkell Munnelly-Church, Olivia and Devin Munnelly. He was so proud to be promoted from Dad to Pop-Pop and loving Uncle to Matthew John Lambert, Lindsay Ann Lambert, Brendan Lloyd, Brian Austin Munnelly and Allison Munnelly.

On June 4, 1970 while working for the Jersey Central Railroad he suffered an accident that left him a double amputee. Following his accident he was determined to let nothing stand in the way of his love of life! Mike led by example, he loved deeply, was passionate, fiercely independent and inspired others while living a purpose driven, determined life. He taught us there is no obstacle so large that it cannot be overcome; you may have to struggle to climb over it or work hard to push through it but it CAN be done! He moved his family to Modesto, California in 1977, was an active member of Marriage Encounter in both Summit, NJ and Modesto, CA. He joined the parish council for St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, loved working the casino for the parish festival, and participating in the men’s bible study. He opened a jewelry store in 1978 (Lormun Jewelers) and remained in the jewelry business for 36 years. His love of sports led him to coach Our Lady of Fatima baseball, Modesto Ram’s football, followed by announcing both the Downey High Football and Basketball games while his children were growing up. He became the BIGGEST fan of the sports his grandchildren participated in and the adopted “Pop-Pop” to all of their teammates.

Michael spent the last 21 years with the loving support of his wife Margaret (Bush) Munnelly by his side and their Dachshund fur babies: Shorty, Rex, Boomer, Fredo, Sonny, Dorie Rose, and Ginger. Margaret and Mike enjoyed travel; they took an Alaskan cruise, a Motown cruise, spent time in Atlantic City, Times Square, Seattle, Tahoe, and nearly every city their eldest granddaughter played travel softball in. He loved to celebrate birthdays and anniversaries with a lovely night out to dinner while enjoying a great bottle of wine and making it an experience, not just a meal. He was a lover of Motown music, had a smile that radiated and a heart of pure gold. There is nothing he would not do for those he loved. He leaves behind dearly loved family on his wife’s side: Joan Wheelwright and John (Donna) Bush. Mike will be sorely missed by many! But in the words of one of his favorite Four Top songs, “Reach out, I’ll be there”.

Memorial Services on Saturday July 28th, 2018 at 9am at Holy Family Church, 4212 Dale Road, Modesto, CA.

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  1. Lou Ramos says

    My heartfelt condolences to the family. Your mom and I are 2nd cousins. I also
    lived in Elizabeth, NJ when we were children. I found you recently through
    Ancestry.com due to dna and family tree ties (6/7/19).

  2. Lou Ramos says

    My heartfelt condolences to the family. Your mom and I are 2nd cousins. I also
    lived in Elizabeth, NJ when we were children. I found you recently through
    Ancestry.com due to dna and family tree ties.

  3. Michelle Reid says

    Thank you all for the beautiful words, the lovely cards and the outpouring support. Our family appreciates each and every one of you!
    Love the Munnelly & Reid Family

  4. Scott & Judie Szostak says

    What a beautiful life you had. The love of your children and grandchildren shows how much you were loved and cared about. You had a gift of caring, giving back and being there for everyone. The people who knew you will always remember you and will always feel blessed. Unable to be there for your service but you will always be remembered and will keep you in my prayers Scott & Judie Szostak

  5. Nita Marks says

    As sad as I am I can’t help but smile when I think of you, Mike.
    You were the best of the best: best father, best friend, best sport enthusiast, best “pop-pop”, best son, best sibling…and so on. You will be missed, but we all have great memories linked to you, thank you!

    Im sorry I will miss your final event on Saturday. I feel strongly you will have a preferred spot in heaven!

    Love ya, Nita

  6. Michael Fernandez says

    A good family man.

  7. Dianna Malta says

    What a beautiful tribute! I remember with great fondness all the good times we had celebrating Cambridge House victories, dancing to Motown and Disco tunes, and the LOVE that was always in the air when we were together.

    Mike was always an inspiration to me with his unfailing enthusiasm for everything in life and especially his love for his family.

    All my love to the Munnelly family as you grieve your loss and honor him with the example he left for all who knew him.

  8. Steve Dickson Sr says

    God be with you brother!
    As our kids were growing up and we spent so much time together as “One” family I thought of you as my brother!
    Thank You for all the wonderful memories I will always have and think of. You and Neyda were my children’s 2nd Mom & Dad and I know Cathy and I felt the same for your children. I’m sorry we drifted apart for so long! Even recently as we reconnected after some time apart it was as if we were never apart and could still finish each others sentences all over again. Mike you should know that when we were younger you helped me be a better man and love and appreciate my own family even more than I already did. I always admired your courage and love for your wife, children, my family and your zest for life!!!

    I miss you dearly!

    If your children read this I hope they know I am here for them if needed/wanted!


    I was just a teenager when Mike and my brother John (Hap) played baseball. I remember the passion he had for baseball and Motown music. He was the energetic life of the party with a big smile.My brother married his sister and the Lambert and Munnelly families shared many good times.
    May he rest in peace and may God bless his family.

    Another Four Tops song- “Sugar Pie Honey Bunch” you know we loved you.

  10. Vinny Malta says

    I knew Mike in high school playing against him in baseball. He was a talented catcher, a good athlete. We reconnected when he decided to coach our softball team in 1974. Our team, Cambridge House went undefeated and we won the Union County championship. He hostel many team party’s at his Summit, NJ home with his then wife Neyda. Their children were adorable.

    Our communication was limited once he made the move to Modesto but his sister Lori kept us updated on his life. His sister and brother in law John are our best friends.

    In closing, Mike was a great, loving, giving friend who will be prayed for every day that I live.

    May he rest in peace and may God bless his family.

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