Donahue, Robert Neale

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Robert Neale Donahue, 92, of Blacksburg, passed away on Thursday, April 2, 2015. Born in Newport, Maine to Ross and Helen Donahue, he spent the first part of his life in Maine, then moved to Sayville, Long Island, New York, where he taught art for over 30 years.

After retiring he moved back to Windham, Maine, with his wife, Oral, who died in 2003. He resided in Blacksburg, Va. for a little over two years until he passed away.

Robert, or Bob, as he liked to be called, was a creative man who loved painting and gardening. He served as a corpsman during World War II in Europe, married Oral (Coxhead) Donahue of Rockford, Ill. after the war, and earned a bachelor’s degree from Colby College in Waterville, Maine.

Bob was a duck hunter and avid fly fisherman, but soon found opportunities to the south and settled on Long Island. There he took up saltwater fishing including crabbing and clamming. Because his heart belonged to Maine, he and his family spend many summers in lakeside cottages there. He was also very passionate about golf and played as often as he could.

Bob earned a Masters in Fine Arts from Adelphi College in Garden City, N.Y., and could often be found sketching or painting on the docks of southern Long Island or the coast of Maine. He leaves behind an extensive collection of original prints and paintings.

Bob enjoyed his family of three sons and a daughter and made sure they were all introduced to his passions and pursuits. He was predeceased by Debra (Donahue) Vetter, of Patchogue, N.Y., and Joel Donahue, of Blacksburg, Va. Debra was married to William Vetter of Patchogue and Joel to Janet (Hansberry) Donahue, of Northport, N.Y. He is survived by two sons and their wives, Neal Donahue, of Bristol, Vt., and his wife, Sharon (Winter) Donahue, of Sayville, N.Y. and David Donahue, of Huntingtown, Md., and his wife, Maureen (Nies) Donahue, of Seneca, Wis.; and a sister, Jean (Donahue) Keef, of Windham, Maine. Bob also leaves behind seven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. Locally, he is survived by granddaughter, Koren (Donahue) Meadows, husband, Aaron; great-grandchildren, Riley and Alaina, of Christiansburg. He will be missed by all his friends and the caretakers at Warm Hearth at Home, as well.

A memorial service to celebrate Bob’s life and passions, will be held at at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 16, 2015 at the Karr Activity Center, Warm Hearth Village for Blacksburg area family and friends.

Memorial donations may be made to Project HOPE, PO Box 96340, Washington, DC 20090-6340, or online at