Daniel J. Donahue of New Hope, PA passed away peacefully on September 10, 2021 after a courageous battle with cancer. His closest friends and family were with him in his final days and hours.
Born in Philadelphia, Dan moved with his family to Mt. Holly, NJ when he was a young boy. He graduated from Rancocas Valley Regional High School in 1963 and enlisted in the US Navy. After 4 years of service including time in Viet Nam, he was discharged as an aviation machinist’s mate 3rd class. Now a skilled engine mechanic, Dan continued his service in the Naval Reserve forces. Dan’s interest and expertise with all things mechanical was launched when, as a teenager, he worked at his stepfather’s repair shop in Mt. Holly. His “Pop” was also known to all as Oklahoma “Oakie” Bradby and was of Native American descent. Oakie’s pride in his heritage awakened Dan’s passion for the American West. Dan maintained a curated wardrobe of cowboy boots, hats, shirts and jackets and developed an active interest in Native American culture. He loved the music of Hank Williams, Johnny Cash and The Carter Family and came to be lovingly known as “Cowboy Dan.”
Dan was an excellent marksman and enjoyed target practice at the local range. He also loved mechanics and could take apart any device, put it back together and make it work better than before. No matter where he worked his skills quickly manifested themselves and he became an essential part of an organization’s success. This held true from his earliest jobs at his Pops’ repair shop and the Cumberland Farms Dairy Plant in Palmyra to facilities manager at the Scanticon Center in Princeton to his retirement as Supervisor of Buildings and Grounds at Mercer County Special Services School. In retirement he was a volunteer at Doylestown Hospital where he became a well-known bright spot in the day for many of the hospital workers. Dan was a resident of New Hope, PA for the past 15 years having previously lived in Bedminster, PA and Lambertville, NJ.
Dan had a zest for life and for people. He greeted everyone with a smile and a big, warm bear hug. He had a wide range of life experiences and was more than willing to share his stories with great humor and insight. Dan could sit for hours with a cup of coffee and a friend reminiscing about growing up on a farm in New Jersey or his experiences in the Navy with airplanes and ships or his work as an engineer in hotels and schools. Dan was generous with his time, always willing to help someone with a building project or solve a difficult construction issue.
Dan was preceded in death by parents William T. Donahue and Mary Schmidt Donahue Bradby, step father Oklahoma “Oakie” Bradby, sisters Patricia M. Hull and Veronica “Roni” A. Scott and brother William T. Donahue. He is survived by his life partner Anthony L. Richinelli; his brother and sister-in-law Thomas J. and Theresa C. Donahue and a circle of treasured loved ones including beloved companion James E. Graves and many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. He had an extraordinary ability to build and maintain special long-term, loving relationships. He will be sorely missed by all.
There will be a memorial gathering on Sunday, September 19, 2021 from 10 am until 12 noon at the Van Horn-McDonough Funeral Home, 21 York Street, Lambertville, NJ 08530 (vhmfh.com). We request masks to be worn during the service.
At 11:30 am, there will be a memorial service where Dan’s relatives and friends will be encouraged to share their favorite recollections of Dan.
Attendees are respectfully requested to be masked if not fully vaccinated
Please visit the funeral home website for zoom/video links.
Services will conclude with US Navy military honors.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Dan’s memory may be made to Blue Angels Foundation (blueangelsfoundation.org) or Veterans of Foreign Wars (vfw.org)