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Dr. Robert J Donohue

November 10, 1929 ~ March 1, 2018 (age 88)

HOLYOKE:  It is with great sadness that the announcement is made of the passing of Dr. Robert J. Donohue who died peacefully at his home in Holyoke surrounded by his beloved wife Ellen and members of his loving family.  Born in the family home in Clinton, Massachusetts, the son of Robert J. and Mary A (Burke) Donohue, he graduated from Clinton High School in 1947 and from Cranwell Preparatory School in 1948.  He matriculated to The College of Holy Cross, where he enrolled in the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corp, earning his Bachelor’s Degree in 1952.  Thereafter he proudly served as a Lieutenant in the United States Navy from 1952 through 1954 during the Korean War.  He received the National Defense Service Medal from the United States Navy on June 22, 1954, at which time he was honorably discharged from the Navy.  Bob, as he was lovingly known by countless friends and patients, then entered Yale University School of Medicine, graduating in 1958.  He married his childhood sweetheart, Ellen McNally, on June 14, 1958.  He continued his medical training at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary.  He chose ophthalmology as his medical specialty because of his interest in the study of eye injuries after his brother, Jim, suffered a devastating accident as a young child.  In 1962, Bob and Ellen moved to Holyoke, Massachusetts, where he, with Ellen, a registered nurse and his office manager, started their private practice.  A dedicated and talented eye surgeon, Dr. Bob and Ellen worked tirelessly for their patients in their practice for nearly 50 years, until their retirement in March of 2010.  During the years he lived in Holyoke, Bob was a longtime lector and Eucharistic minister at Holy Cross Church, now known as Our Lady of the Cross in Holyoke.  He was a Knight Grand Cross of the Equestrian Order of The Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and a Knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.  His civic engagements included service on many Advisory Boards at Yale University Medical School, as a member of the Board of Directors of Peoples Bank, and as a Trustee of the College Our Lady of the Elms.  In addition to his many professional, academic, civic and religious engagements, he was above all else the loving patriarch of an extensive family.  Bob was a life-long learner, avid reader, and willing teacher, who enjoyed sharing his knowledge and love of poetry with his family, particularly his grand nieces and nephews.  He was always available, day or night, to lend advice and guidance to all who loved him, and will always be remembered by the time shared with his family by the sea.   Besides his devoted wife Ellen, Bob leaves his sisters Mary Shaughnessy of Williamsville, New York; Helen Donohue Poff of Clinton; Ann Donohue of Clinton; and brother-in-law Thomas Hamilton of Millbury.  He was predeceased by his brother, Hon. James Donohue of Clinton, his sister Patricia Hamilton of Millbury, sister in law Elizabeth Donohue of Clinton, and brothers in law Harry Shaughnessy of Williamsville, New York and Col. Clarence Poff of Roanoke, Virginia. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for Bob on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at Our Lady of the Cross Church, 23 Sycamore St., Holyoke, MA.  There will be calling hours at Barry J. Farrell Funeral Home on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.  Burial will follow the Mass at St. John’s Cemetery in Clinton.  Memorial contributions may be made to Our Lady of the Cross Parish, Holyoke, or to the Annual Catholic Appeal of the Diocese of Springfield. 

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