The Sheldon McDonell Memorial Bursary

This fund was set up at Queen's by members of Sheldon's graduating class in 1997.

Sheldon was born at the Grace Hospital in Ottawa on May 4, 1974, to Glen and Sheila McDonell of Munster, Ontario. Sheldon attended St. Philip Elementary School and St. Mark High School in Manotick. The family moved to Manotick in 1987. Sheldon has an older sister, Juliann, now residing in Kingston with her husband and two children, and older brother, Allan, residing in Markham with his wife and three children.

Sheldon always had a great many friends. The phone would ring constantly during the week before he would be coming home from Queen’s. He loved golf and hockey and played competitively in both sports. Sheldon’s other passion was politics and he loved both the courses and discussions at University. Sheldon was very proud of his Scottish heritage and enjoyed wearing the family tartan.

Sheldon had been down to visit his family the week prior to the accident, especially to see Juliann, Andrew and Alexandra his nephew and niece. His parents went golfing with him at Eagle Creek in Kanata; Allan had driven down from Toronto to visit the day before he left on his camping trip. Although we did not know it, we were all given a chance to say goodbye.

Sheldon, his girlfriend, her father, and some friends of their family travelled by canoe to a secluded part of Algonquin Park for a few days of camping. They watched the perfect shower of shooting stars that week. On the 15th, a sudden storm came up. Although they all were struck by lightning, Sheldon was the only one to succumb. His girlfriend had just graduated at the top of her class in Respiratory Technology and worked diligently on him for over an hour. They made their way to the Ranger Station and took him to the hospital in Barry’s Bay, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Sheldon had worked part time at the Lone Star Café in Kingston and revelled in the atmosphere. The Lone Star had a golf tournament in his name on the second Monday of July every year for 9 years. Money raised from the tournament was donated to the Neo Natal Unit at Kingston General Hospital. There is also a bursary in his name at St. Mark High School, Manotick, ON, as well as the Memorial Bursary at Queen’s.

Sheldon was only 22 when he died. His family are all very proud of the legacy that he has left, which included the Queen’s Bursary. He would be very pleased to see you get this bit of help and would want you to be the best person you can be every day.

We are always glad to hear from recipients through the years. We all enjoy hearing who you are, and what your career plans are. It is also very special for his nephews and niece as they have so little memory of him.