DONNELLY (CERRA), Jacqueline Audrey (nee Handley)


The family is saddened to announce her death at the Sault Area Hospital on Thursday, July 29, 2021 at the age of 91. Audrey is finally free from pain and now in the arms of Our Lord.

Wife of James (Jim) Donnelly and reunited with her late husband Frank Cerra. Loving mother of Judy Cerra (Clarence Dungey), Jo-Ann McCulloch (Tim Dunster), Janice and Jackie Cerra. Stepmother of Dan (Thelma), the late Bob (Kathy), Allanna (Peter Papaioannou), Susan (Barry Hand), the late Joanne, and Carol (Paul Rocca). Grandmother of Nichole McCulloch Cuglietta, Luke, and Mitchell (Karen Swain) McCulloch. Step-grandmother of Michelle Dungey (Guy Gascoigne), Zack Dunster (Chantel Anderson), Terri (Ricky Polny), Patrick, and Shayla, Sean and Allyson, Joanna (Nick Becker), Christina, and Ciara Papaioannou, Matthew (Becky) and Katie Hand, and Christopher Rocca. Great-grandmother of Jacob and Sophia Cuglietta, Miles and Maeve McCulloch. Step-great-grandmother of 12 and step-great-great-grandmother of two. Also reunited with her parents Jessie and Douglas Handley and her brothers Bob and Donald (Minerva). Audrey will also be missed by Carlo Cuglietta, first cousin Brent Halford (Anne), and many nieces and nephews.

Audrey worked at the Memorial Gardens for 50 years. She was promoted to head cashier in the early 1960s, she scheduled Gardens staff, organized and coordinated ticket sales for all Soo Greyhound games, as well as the 1979 OHL All-Star Game. Her most memorable night was when the Soo Greyhounds won the Memorial Cup in 1993.

Another night that stood out during her time at the Gardens was in the Summer of 1968 when Pierre Elliot Trudeau walked in. The place erupted.

In addition to hockey, the 1990 Labatt Brier, the Canadian men’s curling championship, and the 1996 Canadian National Gymnastics Championship were hosted in the Gardens.

Audrey also worked with artists who have performed at the Gardens that include: Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong in the 1950s, Don Messer and Guy Lombardo in the 1960s, Charlie Pride, Kenny Rogers, Nana Mouskouri, Bobby Curtola, Bryan Adams, Bob Dylan, among many other celebrities over the years. Audrey was very proud to have worked at the Gardens since its opening in 1949. At the time of her retirement in 1999, she was the longest serving employee for the City of Sault Ste. Marie.

Audrey volunteered for various charities during her lifetime, Knights of Columbus (including Bingo Nights), Daughters of Isabella, Canadian Legion, CNIB, St. Gregory’s Parish, St. Theresa’s Catholic School PTA, and Block Parents of Canada. Audrey was very pleased to have beaten her own record in 2020 for selling more than 100 Legion Calendars for the 2021 year.

Over the years, Audrey also knitted several hundred preemie sets of hats, booties, and mittens for the Neonatal Unit of the Sault Area Hospital.

Special thank you to the caring and compassionate doctors, nurses and staff of Emergency and 3B at the Sault Area Hospital. A special shout out from the bottom of our hearts to those whom she wanted to adopt – you know who you are.

Friends are invited to visit with the family at Arthur Funeral Home – Barton & Kiteley Chapel (492 Wellington St. E. 705-759-2522) on Thursday, August 5, 2021 from 12 pm to 1:45 pm. Social distancing and mask wearing are required. Funeral service to follow in the chapel at 2 pm. Members of the same household are welcome to sit together and those who are not are asked to distance appropriately. Rev. Veselko Kvesic officiating. Please call Arthur Funeral Home to preregister if you wish to attend the visitation or funeral service as capacity is limited. Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to ARCH Hospice or the Sault Area Hospital Foundation Palliative Care Fund would be greatly appreciated.

Please visit to leave a message of condolence or a memory as a keepsake for Audrey’s family.