Eulogy for
George R. Donahue

Presented by TOM MORAN
Given at Rotary Club January 17, 2012

Dick Donahue died the morning following Christmas Day. Having known Dick for over 40 years, I was surprised that the obit claimed he was George Richard Donahue. A Lafayette "hometown" boy. He graduated from old Jeff on North 9th St. & went on to Notre Dame, then to Northwestern for law school. He was the epitome of a rabid Notre Dame alum. He practiced law in Lafayette for over 30 years. His many achievements and activities were appropriately listed in the J-C obituary. He & his wife, Sheila lived in Sarasota, Fl after retirement. He was a consummate care giver prior to Sheila's death in 1999.

It is my understanding that Dick was back in Lafayette for a Notre Dame Alum event and his friends suggested that he needed a "date" for this event. They fixed him up on a blind date with a cute little blonde, Sandy Allende, a widow who had been a Financial Advisor with 5th Third Bank. The chemistry was there. They were married in 2005 and bought a home in Westport where they enjoyed entertaining their friends.

In late summer Dick had a return of some heart health concerns. You knew that he was not feeling well when he gave his Notre Dame Football tickets to friends & family.

After a brief stay in the hospital Dick was sent to rehab. After a night or two he had a return of the pain he knew all too well. When the night attendant did not respond as quickly as he wished he called 911.

He got out of rehab and they were looking forward to going South for the winter. In early December he and Sandy were at our house for a dinner meeting. He looked very natty in his Tux. A day or two later he fell and broke a hip and while on the operating table had another heart attack from which he did not recover.

It is always a joy to watch two loving, caring people enjoy life. Dick & Sandy were just such people. While Dick was not big in stature, he was big on greeting friends, he was big on humor and always had a quick retort. He enjoyed the fellowship of Rotary. He will be missed. May we pause for a moment in Dick's memory.

From the December 28, 2011 Journal and Courier

George Richard "Dick" Donahue, age 78, died on December 26, 2011 at St. Elizabeth Hospital East, Lafayette, Indiana. He went peacefully into the arms of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, in the presence of his family. He will be most remembered for his steadfast faith, keen intellect, strong conservative principles and loving spirit. Dick loved to discuss politics, sports and history. He was student of current events and was mentally engaged in conversation up to his last few days. Most importantly, however, he was a loving, sensitive man at peace with his eternal destiny.

Born in Lafayette, Indiana on July 27, 1933, he was the son of Dr. George Richard "GR" and Mary Cecile "Rosie" Watson Donahue. He graduated from Lafayette Jefferson High School and the University of Notre Dame. After serving his country in the United States Air Force, he continued his education at Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago where he met and married Chicagoan Sheila Marie Callan. They returned to Lafayette and resided there for over thirty years, raising two children. After spending the winters in Sarasota, Florida for years, he retired and eventually moved there in 1990. Sheila preceded him in death in 1999.

On May 21, 2005, Dick married Sandra "Sandy" Okes Allende. She was the love of his life and they enjoyed over 6 wonderful years together. They traveled the world and squeezed many joyful experiences into their short marriage. It was because of Sandy that Dick was able to enjoy life fully during the latter years, even while struggling through sickness and poor health. Their devotion to each other in sickness and in health stands as a model for all of their friends.

As an attorney, he clerked for Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bobbitt and was associated with Vaughan and Vaughan. He started his own practice in the Life Building followed by years with Littell, Carey, Sandy & Donahue and then Donahue, O'Bryan & Morrissey. His achievements over the years included recognition as a Sagamore of The Wabash, a Kentucky Colonel, and as a former Exalted Ruler of Elks Lodge #143, a past President of the Tippecanoe County Bar Association, and admitted to practice in both Illinois and Indiana. He was a proud Republican, and served on the Lafayette City Council during the late 1970's. He was an avid Notre Dame Football fan for over fifty years, and was never at loss to share his opinions and support of "his" team. Some of Dick's fondest memories involved a Notre Dame game and tailgating with friends and family in South Bend.

Surviving are his wife, Sandra Allende Donahue of West Lafayette; sister, Sheila Donahue Higgins and children of Tehuacana, Texas; daughter, Megan Donahue and grandson, Adam Donahue of Fort Wayne; son, Dennis Donahue and his wife Judy of Fort Wayne; stepson Dr. Jorge A. "JJ" Allende (wife, Megan) and stepgrandchildren Cede, Luci and Andreas Allende of Ukiah, California; and stepson, Jeffrey A. Allende (wife, Page) and stepgrandchildren Ashe and Kaki Allende of Richmond, VA. Dick was also preceded in death by his parents.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at the Church of the Blessed Sacrament, 2224 Sacramento Drive, West Lafayette on Saturday December 31st, at 10:30 am. Internment will be at a later date in Longboat Key, Florida. Memorial donations may be made to The American Cancer Society or The American Heart Association .

Tom Moran