Harold Donahue
October 26, 2015

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  Harold “Harry” R. Donahue of Burlington, formerly of Woburn and Winchester, Oct. 26. Owner of Donahue Furniture in Burlington. Beloved husband of Dorothy (Kelley). Loving father of Linda Kelly of Lowell, David Donahue & his wife Pat of Westford, Nancy Arsenault & her husband Paul of Burlington, and Patricia Donahue of Wilmington. Proud grandfather of Michael & Benjamin Donahue of Westford, Matthew Arsenault of San Jose, CA, Amy Arsenault of Burlington, Cody, Joshua, and Kaitlyn Crampton all of Wilmington. Brother of the late Margarette Lynch, John, Thomas, Kenneth, Ruth, and Mary “Mae” Donahue. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Margaret’s Church, 111 Winn St., Burlington on Wednesday, October 28 at 10 a.m. Followed by a burial in Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Burlington. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. He was a decorated WW II Army Veteran. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Harold’s name may be made to the Knights of Columbus Exceptional Children’s Fund, P.O. Box 25, Burlington, MA 01803. Arrangements by the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, Burlington.

I am reading my wife Nancy’s Eulogy for her dad. These are her words.

Dad was a fighter. The product of a broken home and the Great Depression. He graduated with honors, from the school of hard knox. At 17, he enlisted in the Army, and with his mother’s permission he went off to fight in WWII. He always said the army was the best education anyone could have.

What I didn’t realize was that my dad was a real hero. I never knew it growing up because he never boasted or bragged about his time in the war. I didn’t fully understand his sacrifices until I got older and he began to tell me the stories.

As a kid growing up, my dad was my hero. He was invincible, strong, smart, and someone you better not cross. When I was 14 he suffered a massive heart attack at the age of 51, and we were told he wouldn’t make it through the weekend. He lived to see 90. Dad was a fighter.

Some of my fondest memories are of our month long vacations. There are so many great stories of our adventures, and I’ll share one of my favorites with you. One time we were riding mules through the Grand Canyon when my hat blew off. We were the last two donkeys in the line, and my dad got off and went back to get it. When he caught back up to his donkey, the donkey had other ideas. The donkey repeatedly would speed up just as he was about to get back on. I still have the image of him repeatedly getting outrun by his donkey. I am happy for all of the adventures my dad took me on, and that I was able to revisit many of the places he took me with my own kids.

Dad loved his kids and had a special soft spot for his grandkids. To his grandkids he was known as Ga. Ga used to love to take a car full of kids to Toys R’ Us during school and summer vacations. He would always say “I don’t remember where Toy’s R’ Us is, can you draw me a map?”. He would quickly get a few maps drawn in pencil and crayon so he could find his way. He was always trying to take care of all of us.

What I learned most from Dad was to have a positive outlook. Even when a difficult situation arose, he would say “Just get it done”.

It was never try, it was “just do”, can’t wasn’t in his vocabulary. I hope that his kids, and especially his grandkids honor his memory, with a can do attitude! It took him far in life and I know that’s what he wanted for all of you. I want you to be the fighter he was, and to never give up when things get tough. So honor our dad and Grand Dad, keep smiling and remember to live like he did, I know that’s what he wants us all to do.

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