Father Donald Donahugh Dies March 9 at Age 88
March 21, 2024

FORT WORTH, Texas—Father Donald Edward Donahugh, 88, died March 9, 2024, in Fort Worth, Texas, where he resided for many years.

Father Donahugh was born June 2, 1935, in Chicago, to Agatha and James Donahugh.

He attended Quigley Preparatory High School in Chicago and both St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa, and Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. He completed his theological studies at St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., in 1962.

He was ordained to the priesthood on May 26, 1962, by Bishop Loras T. Lane at St. Bridget Church in Loves Park. 

He later earned a master’s degree from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and a Master Certificate from the Air Force Institute of Technology in Berkeley, Calif.

Father Donahugh served several parishes in the Diocese of  Rockford. He also served in roles at diocesan high schools: Boylan Central Catholic High School, Rockford; St. Edward Central Catholic High School, Elgin; and Aurora Central Catholic High School (as its director of religious education).

He then joined the Air Force and served as a Chaplain from 1969-1987, going from Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., to Omaha, Neb.; Fort Worth, Houston, Dayton, Wichita Falls, San Antonio, Texas; and overseas in Turkey, Taiwan, Guam, Vietnam and Germany. In 1975 he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for outstanding duty performance at Carswell Air Force Base.

Father Donahugh cared for his aging mother in Germany, but returned to the United States when she needed surgery. He received a humanitarian assignment to Wichita Falls for a year to allow him to care for his mother. He resigned as a Lieutenant Colonel after 17 years of service.

After his retirement he remained in San Antonio, working as a chaplain at Santa Rosa Hospital after receiving permission from Bishop Arthur O’Neill so he could keep his mother in a warmer climate. After he met a religious sister at a convention in San Antonio, she convinced him to come to Port Arthur’s St. Mary Hospital, which needed a chaplain. He agreed to come for one year and stayed for 20 more.

In 2011 after retiring from St. Mary he moved with his sister to Fort Worth where she worked as a nurse. He continued to stay active in Fort Worth, helping where he
was needed.

He is survived by his sister, Mary Mulkay of Fort Worth, and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews; and a host of friends.

Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated March 13, 2024, at Holy Family Catholic Church, Fort Worth. He was interred March 14, 2024, at Bluebonnet Hills Memorial Park, Colleyville, Texas.


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