Lucy Ray Donnelly, well known co-publisher and president of the Indiana Printing & Publishing Company, influenced many improvements to Downtown Indiana and was a pillar in the Indiana County community.
In 1986 Lucy, along with husband Joseph L. Donnelly and their three children — Hastie D. Kinter, Michael J. Donnelly, and Stacie D. Gottfredson — bought the Ray family shares in the company and became sole owners of The Indiana Gazette.
Lucy was born November 29, 1925, in Indiana. She graduated in 1943 from Indiana High School, and attended Bucknell University, New York University, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She worked for the Associated Press and Look magazine in New York City before she became part owner of the Palm Beach News Service in Florida. In 1950, she began her career at The Indiana Gazette under her father’s guidance, and grew her skills in all facets of newspaper management and production. Lucy’s knowledge of the emerging computer-generated newspaper production was put to the test when she and Joe designed the current Gazette facility. It opened in November 1970 and has remained a standard for small-town newspaper production.
Donnelly’s loyalty to Indiana was expressed by her leadership. She led or served the Greater Indiana Corporation, The 80's Committee, The Indiana 2000 Corporation, the Indiana County Economic Development Committee and the Indiana County Industrial Development Authority. She was an officer and leader of the Downtown Indiana Merchants Association, the Main Street Program and the sidewalk and building facade restoration projects that brought a new look and new life to the main street area.
In 1960, Lucy initiated the Christmas Angel program to assure that every child has something under the tree on Christmas morning, an effort that earned state recognition in its first year.
Donnelly was also the founder and president of the Indiana County Humane Society and aided in the establishment of the Indiana County Animal Shelter.
A charter member of the local Zonta, she also served as a director of the Armstrong-Indiana Drug & Alcohol Commission, the Indiana County Child Day Care Program, and The Task Force for Community Child Care. Donnelly was honored as the Indiana Civic Leader of the Year and the Zonta Woman of the Year, and received the Friend of the Library Award and the Aging Services Hall of Fame Award. Mr. and Mrs. Donnelly were among the few couples named Paul Harris Fellows by Rotary International. She was a member of Sigma Delta Chi, the honorary journalism fraternity. Lucy and Joe were cited in 1989 by the Keystone West Publishers Association for contributions to the newspaper profession.
Donnelly passed away February 1, 1993, at age 67. Months later, the Lucy Donnelly Memorial Fund was started to perpetuate the projects close to her heart, including downtown sidewalk maintenance and beautification projects, and the purchase of Christmas decorations for Philadelphia Street. The Lucy Donnelly Light Up Project, now in its 21st year, encourages the Christmas season decoration of downtown Indiana buildings for beautification and as a tourist attraction.