She grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, (which is 8 miles from Cleveland, Ohio) and learned to play the game of tennis on some home made clay courts at their family farm. Roselyn played college tennis and was graduated from Flora Stone Mather College of Western Reserve University with a degree in Biology in 1947. Her family moved to the Huntsville area in 1956 and in 1957, she started the junior tennis program here when she drove through Big Springs Park and saw four courts and no one playing on them. She got the support of W.E. McBride, Park Superintendent, and started setting up a summer program for juniors. The program began in 1958 with 150 young players. By the year 1971, the program had grown to 600 juniors on 10 different sites for beginners, intermediate and advanced players. Many of the players who started in the summer program later became instructors and her students are still benefiting today from the instruction she provided over 45 years ago. Roselyn was the director of the Summer Junior Tennis Program through most of its history and a part-time pro at Huntsville Tennis Center virtually year round. During her time as director of the Summer Junior Tennis Program, she continued to play competitively. One of the highlights of her tennis-playing career was winning the Alabama State Singles, Doubles, and Mixed Doubles Titles in 1961. In 1975, she became the Adult Community Education Director for the Huntsville City Schools and continued in this position until 1991. Sam Sullins had this to say about Donnelly, Roselyn was probably the best female tennis player Huntsville has ever seen and one of the best tennis teachers in Huntsville. She was a great lady, a very humble lady. I had a lot of respect for Roselyn as a mother, teacher and competitor. In 1975, The Huntsville Womens Tennis Association paid homage to Roselyn by sponsoring a full tennis scholarship to Calhoun Community College in her name. How inspiring to have a scholarship, Roselyn said at the time. Nobody would have thought of a tennis scholarship for girls a few years ago. In 2002, the Huntsville Womens Tennis Association established the annual Roselyn Donnelly Most Improved Player Award and renamed the annual fall tournament the Roselyn Donnelly Memorial Tennis Tournament. This is a most fitting tribute to a person known as the Mother of Huntsville Tennis.