Thomas Donahue passed away April 9, 2022 in Burlington, N.C. He had been battling cancer and kidney failure the past two years.
Born on April 2, 1941 in Medford, Massachusetts, to the late Peter and Etta Donahue, he was the middle child of nine. Raised in Medford, he was a graduate of Medford High, where he was a gifted baseball and football player. After high school, he served in the Army then returned home to Medford.
He married Joanne Falconer in 1969 and they welcomed a daughter Michelle. They soon moved to Joanne’s home town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. While their marriage didn’t last, Tom's stay in North Carolina did. He worked for American Tobacco in Durham and later Reidsville until taking an early retirement. Eventually he settled in Greensboro - halfway between Chapel Hill and Charlotte, he'd say. His longtime side business as a ticket broker became his full-time work after his early retirement.
Traveling the country to work major events like NCAA championships, Bowl games, the Masters, Kentucky Derby and Super Bowls, he passed a deep love of sports on to his daughter and his granddaughter. When his daughter was young, he coached or refereed in many of her soccer, softball and basketball leagues. He was an avid jogger and later, walker. His last clear days were spent enjoying Carolina's recent wins over Duke - the last one occurring on his 81st birthday.
He had a shy nature but a sly wit. Despite living in the south for 50 years, he still sounded right out of Boston. A man of few words, he loved to tease people. He was a really good winker, still winking at nurses playing pranks in the hospital. You never knew when he'd pop up or when he'd leave but if you needed him, he'd be there.
He is survived by his daughter Michelle Donahue Hillison and her husband Jeff who live in Cary, and his granddaughter Hayley of Morrisville. He is also survived by brother Joseph Donahue and wife Angela, brother Leo Donahue and wife Debbie, sister Mary Lou DeBenedictis and husband Carly and sister Debbie Falco and husband Michael, and a pile of nieces and nephews, and grand nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his parents, brother Edward Donahue and sisters Jeannie Gear, Joyce McGahey and Ann Balian.
Thank you to the staff at AuthoraCare Hospice Home for all their kindness.
Tom gave blood as often as possible because of his very useful blood type. If you'd like to remember him, please consider donating blood or funds to the American Red Cross.
Service details are pending but will be held in Medford, Mass in the near future.
Sign an online register book at www.omegafsc.com. Arrangements are in the care of Omega Funeral Service & Crematory.
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