John F. Donahue, III, 77, of Ashaway, passed away on Saturday, August 21, 2021, at the Westerly Hospital after a long illness. He was the husband of Melissa M. (Gibson) Donahue. Born on November 30, 1943, in Westerly, he was the son of the late John Francis, Jr. and Lois Evelyn (Wilkinson) Donahue.
John graduated from Chariho High School in 1961 and enlisted in the U.S. Army in July of that year. He completed his basic training at Fort Dix, NJ and received follow on training at the Officer Candidate School while stationed at Fort Knox, KY receiving his commission as a Second Lieutenant for the Military Police Corps. He volunteered for Vietnam and completed two tours. He was assigned as a Platoon Leader attached to Company C, 716th MP Battalion in Saigon and fought in the Tet Offensive on January 31, 1968. He was promoted to Captain and assigned to 2nd Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, Blackhorse Trooper as Tank Commander under George Patton, Jr. He was honorably discharged from the service in 1970 after receiving numerous awards to include The Bronze Star. He continues to stay active in support of the military through membership at the DAV Josiah Broadfoot, Chapter 6 in Westerly having held the position of Chaplain, VFW Ammancio Gaccione Post 8955 in Westerly, VFW Harley P. Chase #8955 in Pawcatuk, CT and the 11th Armored Cavalry Veterans of Vietnam and Cambodia.
After his years in the service, he went on to work for POSI-SEAL as a Purchasing Agent for several years and then transferred to the Westerly Ambulance as an EMT. Even in the years to come, his volunteer service continued as a Life Member of the Ashaway Fire Department retiring as fire police, volunteering at both the Ashaway and the Westerly Ambulance Associations, volunteering at the Washington County Fire Police and the Ashaway Fire District as a board member.
John’s care for others continued in his love of all dogs especially Great Danes and German Shepherds. He enjoyed all types of parrots along with raising chickens and peacocks. He had a big heart that carried into all aspects of his life.
Besides his wife Melissa, he leaves his stepson Brandon M. Joslin; his brothers and sisters Joanne Eastwood of Westerly, RI, Gladys Whitford of Las Vegas, NV, Ronald (Dianne) Donahue of Charlestown, RI, Paul (Karen) Donahue, Ashaway, RI, Roger Donahue of Westerly, RI along with many nieces and nephews. Besides his parents, he was predeceased by a stepson Donald F. Joslin, Jr.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in his name to the Ashaway Fire Department.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00pm on Monday, August 30, 2021 at the Rhode Island Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 301 South County Trail, Exeter, RI. Friends and family will gather 15 minutes prior to the service at the Administration Building. Per the guidance of the cemetery, masks will be required inside the chapel.
S.R. Avery Funeral Home, 3A Bank St. Hope Valley, RI is assisting the family with arrangements.
For online condolences, please visit www.averyfuneralhome.com
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