Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Robert Donahue Sr
June 7, 1923 — July 19, 2013
Robert Earl Donahue Sr. was born June 7, 1923, in the town of Essex Junction, Chittenden County, Vt. He passed away July 19, 2013, in Walla Walla.
He was the son of William Charles Donahue and Rena Margaret Flaherty. His mother died when he was 5 years old and he was raised by his grandparents, Michael Frank and Elizabeth (Pilon) Donahue, in Jericho, Vt. In 1942 he joined the Army Air Corps and served stateside until 1945. He contracted encephalitis just before his squadron was sent overseas and was too ill to accompany the men with whom he trained. He served as a radio operator gunner on the B-17. During training he was stationed at Gowan Field, Boise, where he met Ruby Elaine Speirs. They were married Sept. 4, 1943, in Boise. Robert attended college at Boise Junior College and, later, enrolled at the University of Idaho, where he received his B.S. in education. He later received his M.A. in education with a minor in administration from the same university. He was the director of music and English at Fairfield, Idaho; Washtuchna, Wash.; Connell, Wash.; and University High School, Spokane Valley, Wash. He was principal of White Pass High School, Randall, Wash., as well as Rosalia High School. He retired in 1973 due to recurring health problems from his wartime illness. He and Elaine lived for many years in the Spokane Valley until moving to Walla Walla, to be near family.
He was predeceased by his daughter, Kathleen Ann Taylor; his wife, Elaine; and one great grandchild. He is survived by his two sons, Robert E., Jr. (Kathie) of Odessa, Wash., and Jeffrey Brian of Walla Walla; eight grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.
The funeral is under the care of Bell Tower Funeral Home of Post Falls, Idaho, and will be held at the Evergreen Chapel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Spokane Valley on Friday, July 26, 2013, at 11 a.m., with a viewing at 10 a.m. Interment will be at Greenwood Cemetery, Spokane, in the LDS section. Memorials may be made to the American Heart Association.