in his home with all of his family around him on July 23,
2005. He was the sixth son and ninth child of James J.
Tinneny and Gertrude Ann Spence. He was born at the
Roxborough Memorial Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on
October 31, 1928. His godparents were his father's
nephew, Francis Sickinger and his father's sister Margaret
Tinneny McKenna. Don was the grandson of
Yankee Pat Tinneny
of Goladuff, Newtownbutler. County Fermanagh, Ireland.
it came time for him to start school, unlike his older
brothers and sisters who all attended Catholic school,
Donald was sent to Levering Public School in Roxborough. In
his words he "hated going to Levering School because it
wasn't a Catholic School." As a result he spent very little
time there. Many days he would walk to the school in the
morning then turn around and walk home and tell his mother
that the gates to the schoolyard were locked and that the
school was closed. When it came time for Donald to go into
the second grade, after a year at Levering School, his
parents gave in to his request to go to Catholic school.
When they went to enroll him in Saint John the Baptist
School the nuns quickly assessed him and found that he would
be best served by repeating the first grade since he had
missed so much the year before. He subsequently completed
twelve years, both his elementary and secondary education,
at Saint John The Baptist Catholic School. Throughout those
twelve years he also served as an alter boy at Saint John's
graduated from high school June 1947. He got a job as a
stock-boy with Sears and Roebuck Company for three or four
months then he was laid off. His brother Bruce who was
working at the Asher Candy Factory in Philadelphia got him a
job there. Bruce's job was quite easy and consisted of
rolling trays of candy to the girls who then covered the
candy with chocolate. Donald on the other hand was not so
lucky. Although he was short and slim he was assigned the
job of lifting 50-pound sacks of sugar, opening them and
dumping them into huge mixers. That was very tough for him
to do since he could barely see over the top of the sacks of
sugar. After a couple of weeks he decided to separate the
sugar into to 25-pound portions then loading it into the
mixers. The adjustment made the job easier but upset his
boss at first. The boss who was about 6 feet 4 inches tall
just couldn't seem to understand how Donald would have
difficulty handling the sacks of sugar.
the two months that he worked for Asher Candy he complained
about the job at home. Finally, one day his mother told him
to quit. He said that he couldn't because he was worried
about what his father would say. His mother said not to
worry about his father and insisted that he quit which he
did. After a couple of months he landed a good job with the
Ocean City Fishing Reel Company. Ocean City probably made
the best quality salt-water fishing reels in the United
States. He started as a stockman and over the course of the
next 10 years he advanced to the position of reel
inspector. He next worked for the Austin Supply Company
again starting out as a stockman. In the two years he
worked there he (1955-57) he rose to the position of
Donald was hired as a purchasing agent by the Pennsylvania
Railroad, which was later known as the Penn Central then as
his family and friends figured him to be a confirmed
bachelor in the late 1960s he met Elizabeth G. "Betty"
Bailer. He and Betty married on September 27, 1969 at Saint
Lawrence Catholic Church in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.
& Betty on their
wedding day. Courtesy
of Betty Tinneny.
early years with the railroad he experienced many layoffs.
In 1961 he was well established on the job but a nation wide
coal or steel strike, which lasted a long time resulted in
him being laid off. His brother Joe got him a job on a
construction crew that was building the Schuylkill
Expressway, Interstate 76, in the area of Philadelphia.
about a year he was called back to his job with the
railroad. He was very
happy and described the job on the road construction crew as
the toughest job that he ever had. Donald worked as a
purchasing agent with the railroad for 33 years. During
that time he handled accounts nationwide. He retired from
the railroad in 1992.
his retirement from the railroad Donald worked as a security
guard until his retirement from there in Late May or early
June 2005. The day following his retirement he had
respiratory problems and was taken to the hospital with what
was thought initially to be pneumonia but which turned out
to be lung cancer.
will be July 28th at Koller’s Funeral Home in
Philadelphia. He will be buried following a Mass at Saint
John the Baptist Catholic Church in the Manayunk section of
Philadelphia on Friday July 29, 2005.
survived by his wife Betty, Son Donald and Daughters
Charity, Elizabeth, Bridget and several grandchildren.