James's Story

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James B Donahue, 91, passed away peacefully on Sept. 30, 2017 at Primrose Retirement Community in Anderson, Indiana.
Jim was born in Kokomo, Indiana on Aug. 10, 1926 and moved with his family to Alexandria, Indiana in 1929.
Jim was a lifelong member of St. Mary's Parish in Alexandria. He graduated from St. Mary's School in 1941, and from Alexandria High School in 1945. Jim attended Purdue University, and later served his country during the Korean War, where he served in the 109th Central Intelligence Unit at the Presidio of San Francisco.
He married Doris Jean ("DJ") Sells, of Anderson, Indiana, while stationed in San Francisco in 1952, and they remained married for 58 years until her death. After his service in the Army Jim and DJ returned to Alexandria, Indiana where they raised their 7 children: Tom, Kathy, Joe, Peg, Patty, David and Brian. Jim worked side by side for many years with his brothers Ted and Pat (now both deceased) at Donahue Gas in Anderson and Muncie.
Donahue Gas is a family business established by Thomas Donahue (Jim, Ted and Pat's father) in 1938. The business remains in the Donahue family, and is currently run by Brian, the youngest of Jim's children. Jim and his brothers were not only active in their business, but were also civic-minded and proud of the communities in which they lived and worked. Jim was President of the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce, Commander of the American Legion Post, Director of Commercial Bank and Trust, Anderson Bank and First of America Bank. He was a long-time director of Community Hospital and served on the Executive Committee. Jim was one of the initial group of individuals that developed Yule Golf Course in Alexandria. He was a member of the Elks, Eagles, American Legion, and was a 4th degree Knight with the Knights of Columbus. He was a member and director of the Anderson Country Club, President of the Indiana Propane Gas Association, a member of the Columbia Club of Indianapolis, and a member of Rotary International. He served 4 years on the Alexandria City Council and 12 years as a Madison County Commissioner. Jim and his wife DJ retired in 1994 to Green Valley, Arizona, where they enjoyed their golden years in the valley of the sun, making new friends and entertaining visiting friends and family from Indiana. While in Green Valley Jim remained active in the local Rotary Club and joined the Lady of the Valley Catholic Church, where Jim was a member of the choir.
He is survived by his children, Tom (Joan) Donahue, Joe Donahue, Peg (Robert) Hall, Patty Brooks, David Donahue and Brian (Missy) Donahue; 14 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; brother, Charles Donahue as well as several nieces and nephews.
Jim was preceded in death by DJ, his wife of 58 years in 2010; his daughter, Kathy; Brothers, Ted (Judy) Donahue and Pat (Judi) Donahue; and sisters Mary Jo Reynolds and Dorothy Roach.
A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 11 a.m. on Thursday in St. Mary's Catholic Church, 820 West Madison Street, Alexandria with Father Dan Duff as Celebrant. Interment of cremains with military honors will following the IOOF Cemetery in Alexandria. Friends may call at St. Mary's Church on Thursday after 10 a.m. prior to the services.
The family would like to say a special thanks to the Primrose Retirement Community and their wonderful staff for all of the care and comfort that they provided to Jim. They were truly a blessing. The family would also like to thank the wonderful staff of Kindred Hospice Care for all of their help and compassion. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be made to the Parish of St. Mary in Alexandria.
Owens Funeral Home in Alexandria is honored to care for Jim and the Donahue family.
Published on September 30, 2017
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