Donahue, Joel Albert
Joel Albert Donahue, Professional Engineer, 60, of Blacksburg, Va., died June 6, 2014. He was born in Portland, Maine, on October 12, 1953, to Robert N. and Oral M. Donahue. He was preceded in death by his mother and his sister, Debra J. Vetter.
He is survived by his father, Robert; wife, Janet L. Hansberry Donahue; mother-in-law, Jean Hansberry; brother, Neal R. Donahue; sister-in-law, Sharon; brother-in-law, William Vetter; brother, David R. Donahue; sister-in-law, Maureen; brother-in-law, Mitchell L. Hansberry; sister-in law, Susan; daughter, Koren Meadows; son-in-law, Aaron; grandchildren, Riley and Alaina; son, Christopher and fiancée Paula Phillips; nephews, Keith, Kevin, and Noah Donahue, Ray Saxon; nieces, Emily Vetter and Clara Donahue; great-nephews, Thomas, Jude and Sean Donahue; great-nieces, Savannah, Kara and Maya Donahue.
Joel graduated from Northeastern University with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, and from Virginia Tech with a M.S.E.E. He pursued a Ph.D. in E.E., also at Virginia Tech, where he was a temporary instructor. He was a licensed professional engineer in Massachusetts and Virginia. Career highlights: he worked for US Windpower, Inc., specializing in control systems and designing wind turbines, for which he was awarded several patents. As Chief Electrical Engineer at Coherent General, Inc., he designed power supplies and controls for industrial lasers. More recently, he founded JanLee Services, Inc., to help customers with their computer systems and home repair dilemmas, and to prepare their taxes. He was an expert witness in legal cases involving electrotrauma, and a member of I.E.E.E.
Joel loved music and sang with the Blacksburg Masterchorale, the Virginia Gentlemen, and Opera Roanoke chorus. In service to his community and state, he was a Chief Election Officer in Montgomery County, a member of the Montgomery County Planning Commission, and a volunteer for the AARP tax preparation program. Intense, exuberant and talkative, he was a major source of knowledge on almost any topic for his many friends and family members, as well as a loving husband, father, son, brother, uncle and grandpa.
A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 14, 2014 at The Village Center, Warm Hearth Village, Blacksburg. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the National Kidney Foundation, 30 East 33rd St, NY, NY 10016, www.kidney.org.