It is with deep, deep sadness that the Court announces the passing of Judge Nancy R. McDonnell. Judge McDonnell passed away this afternoon (September 28, 2021) with her husband, John Kosko, by her side.
Judge McDonnell was a trailblazer, serving as our Court’s first female Administrative and Presiding Judge from 2006-2009. Her nearly 25 years on the Bench were distinguished, and she brought compassion and caring to her role as a Judge. The McDonnell Center Community Based Correctional Facility was dedicated in her name. Most recently, Judge McDonnell presided over our Drug Court.
“Judge McDonnell was, quite simply, one of the strongest persons I have ever known,” says current Administrative and Presiding Judge Brendan J. Sheehan. “This is a sad day for our Court and Judge Nancy McDonnell’s extended personal and professional family. However, we, and the citizens of Cuyahoga County, were fortunate to have had her on our Bench and in our lives.”
A Cleveland-area native, Judge McDonnell was a graduate of Regina High School in South Euclid, The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Before joining the Bench in 1997, she served as an Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor in the Major Trial Division and was a Magistrate in the Lakewood Municipal Court.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the McDonnell-Kosko family.