Daniel James Donahue, 75, Army veteran, community leader

Daniel James Donahue

Daniel James Donahue

A resident of Riverside, Conn, and Pacific Palisades, Calif., Daniel J. Donahue died suddenly on Oct. 21 in Pacific Palisades, Calif.

He was born in Chicago, Ill., on January 28, 1939. He was the eldest son of Donald F. Donahue, Sr. and Mary Fuller Donahue. He graduated from Fenwick High School in Oak Park, Ill., and received a Congressional appointment to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point. After graduation, Dan completed Ranger and Paratrooper training at Fort Benning, Georgia, and Fort Campbell, Kentucky. During his Army service, he was in charge of the Guerilla Warfare Training School in Korea from 1962-1963.

Dan resigned from the Army in 1963 to pursue a career in finance. He joined Merrill Lynch where he worked for 37 years. He started as a financial consultant in Chicago, and then became an office manager in Tacoma, Wash., and then Manhattan, N.Y. Next he took on the role of Director of General Services, and finally became District Director in New England.

During his early years at Merrill Lynch, he attained a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Chicago. Dan retired from Merrill Lynch in 2000 and directed his energy to many activities, including continuing his career in the world of finance by founding the Fieldpoint Private Bank and Trust in Greenwich with his good friend, Dan Tully, and other colleagues. Dan served as founding Chairman from the bank’s inception in 2008 until January 2013, after which he became Lead Director, and finally in May 2014, he became Chairman Emeritus.

“Duty, honor, country,” West Point’s motto, were guiding principles throughout Dan’s life. Dan was once told as he was leaving the Army and dressing out of uniform that he “looked like a soldier in civilian clothes,” and he always tried to live up to the high ideals of West Point. Everywhere he lived or worked, Dan remained dedicated to a life of serving others and making the world a better place. He enjoyed being active in many charitable causes and community organizations.

In Tacoma, Wash. he chaired a town-wide fundraiser for all private and parochial high schools. In Greenwich, he chaired the Republican Town Committee, was an early supporter of the Arch Street Teen Center, and was a founding board member of the Greenwich Point Conservancy. He was Parish Council President at St. Catherine of Siena, and a devoted member of the parish.

In New York, he was the Chairman of the New York City Roundtable for the Center for Strategic and International Studies and was also Chairman for the Tri-State United Way. He was appointed to the Grace Commission in Washington D.C. One of his favorite experiences was to be in charge of Merrill Lynch’s Scholarship Builder Program in Harlem. Through that program, he helped mentor a class of 25 students from Kindergarten through their school years and beyond.

Recently he attended the wedding of a student with great pride and joy. It was also in smaller, less notable ways that Dan lived these principles. He helped carry bags for overburdened strangers, spoke out and wrote letters for less fortunate people to institutions that might not otherwise listen, and performed acts of generosity and kindness wherever he went.

Dan had a serious gravitas and sterling integrity that commanded respect, and yet his sharp wit and easy laugh made him beloved by all who knew him well. He loved reading and his book club, golfing and his partners, boating and fishing with his grandchildren, traveling the world, mentoring young people, providing advice to the many who came to him, and simply enjoying his family as an incredibly devoted husband, father, and grandfather.

Dan and his wife, Judy, fell in love in high school and they celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary this year with all their children and grandchildren in Carmel, Calif. He is survived by her and his children, Daniel, Joseph, and Laura, his daughter-in-law Katharine, and son-in-law Michael, and his seven grandchildren, Daniel, Charles, Samuel, Henry, Hannah, Connor and Ryan. Dan is predeceased by his parents and brothers and by his infant daughter, Susan.

Dan will be interred at West Point after a private funeral. Memorial services will be held at St. Catherine of Siena Church, 4 Riverside Avenue, Riverside at 11 a.m. on Saturday, November 22. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name may be made to “Campaign for West Point” at WPAOG, 608 Mills Road, West Point, NY 10996, or a charity of one’s choice.

—by the family

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