Richard Donahue

Aug. 3, 1924 – April 16, 2010

Richard Donahue passed into eternal life Friday, April 16, 2010, at the age of 85 at Waukesha Memorial Hospital. He was surrounded by family and friends at the time of his passing.

Richard was born Aug. 3, 1924, in Rochester, Minn., to Leo and Helen Donahue, the youngest of five children.

He was preceded in death by two brothers, Joe and Don; and by two sisters, Cleo and Leona.

Richard was an extremely patriotic man. He loved his country and believed completely in the American way of life. Five days after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Richard enlisted in the Navy. Since he was only 17, he lied about his age in order to serve his country. After 10 short days of basic training, he spent most of the rest of the war on the destroyer USS Chauncey. He took part in the Battle of Guadalcanal and the invasion of Okinawa. On Dec. 11, 1945, Richard was honorably discharged from the U. S. Navy with a rank of coxswain. He was paid $31.96 for his service at the time of his discharge.

Richard married the love of his life, Donna Clifford, on April 6, 1946. On April 6, they celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary and still were deeply in love. Richard spent much of his working life at Fabricated Metal Products in Butler and Aeroshade in Waukesha. He liked to fish and hunt and was an expert gardener. Richard was an extremely well-read man. He devoured the newspaper every day and breezed through any and all crossword puzzles he could get his hands on. He liked discussing current events and was even known to argue politics from time to time. Richard worked hard, walked tall and lived proud.

Above all else, however, Richard loved his family. He was a loving father and dedicated husband. Through his actions, he taught his family the virtues of respect, honor and dedication.

He is survived by his wife, Donna; sons, Kenneth (Roseann), Tim (Kris) and Scott (Sheri) Donahue; and his daughters, Janice Cardinal (Donald) and Cheryl Ybarra. His day wasn’t quite complete unless he spent time with some of his 11 beloved grandchildren or nine great-grandchildren. He will be dearly missed by all of his friends and family who were fortunate enough to have Richard touch their lives.

A memorial gathering will be held from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, April 24, at Church and Chapel Funeral Home, 380 W. Bluemound Road (at highways J and JJ, four blocks south of Interstate 94), Waukesha, with a celebration of life at 3 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Disabled American Veterans in Richard’s name. In memory of Richard, the family also suggests that scratch-offs can be gifted to his lady luck, Donna.