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Lima Family Erickson Memorial Chapel

710 Willow Street, San Jose, CA

OBITUARY

James Henry Donegan

October 14, 1930July 9, 2019

James (Jim) Henry Donegan passed away July 9, 2019, a devoted husband to his late wife Sally, father to their seven children and grandparent to their four grandchildren. Jim and Sally were married for 66 years and shared a deep love and Christian faith as they raised their growing family.

Jim was born in Mineral Ridge, Ohio in 1930 to parents Florence Cecelia (Holzbach) Donegan and Harry Lawrence Donegan of Niles, Ohio. He attended Niles McKinley High School, class of 1948, followed by Youngstown State University – William Rayen School of Engineering – where he earned the first annual scholarship given to an engineering student by the Society of Professional Engineers. While in college, he met his wife Sally and was active on campus as a member of the Newman Club, Mu Pi Epsilon honorary engineering fraternity and Pi Beta Chi social fraternity.

In 1952, he earned a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering and began work at General Electric Heavy Military Division working on sonar technologies. Also, in 1952, Jim and Sally married and moved to North Syracuse, New York where Jim studied for his master’s degree at night, while working at General Electric and raising his growing family. Jim graduated from Syracuse University in 1959 with a master’s in Electrical Engineering. After graduate school he continued on at General Electric. In 1967, he moved the family to Cupertino, California to take on classified defense programs at Applied Technology, ESL and then Advent Systems.

Jim was a talented inventor and holds two patents---one in 1956 for radio navigation and one in 1967 for transmission of underwater communication.

Also in 1967, Sally and Jim joined St. Joseph of Cupertino Parish, where all of their children attended school. They were active in the church, and Jim served as a member of the Knights of Columbus. Jim was a life-long avid radio amateur (ham radio) with a class A license; he communicated for years with his parents, friends and other ham radio amateurs around the world. He took great pride in tracking his contacts and kept a global map showing all the connections. He also had a great interest in genealogy, where he traced family roots from Europe to Canada and into the United States. Jim and Sally were proud owners of two 1931 Model A Fords and were active members of the Santa Clara Valley Ford Model A Club for more than 20 years.

In 1997, Jim and Sally moved to Almaden Valley and became members of Holy Spirit Church of Almaden Valley where they made many friends. Jim was an active volunteer in the parish, including accounting for church donations and tutoring students in math. Jim and Sally enjoyed spending time with their children and grandchildren, world travel, gardening, and driving their treasured Ford Model A’s. Australia was one of Jim’s favorite international destinations, and he and Sally visited relatives in Canberra.

Jim was a man of great integrity and taught all of his children the value of hard work, education, faith and marriage.

In 2015, Sally and Jim entered Carlton Senior Living Community together. The family wishes to express sincere thanks to the entire staff at Carlton and the Vitas team for their loving care of our parents.

Their children include Michael Donegan (deceased April 1, 1953), Mary Ann (Tim) Donegan, David (Ilda) Donegan, Carolyn (Kim) Donegan-Klindtworth, Diane Donegan, Kathleen (Richard) Amneus, Maureen (Brad) Abley, Nancy (Daniel) Stebbins. Their beloved grandchildren include Megan Amneus, Deanna (Joseph) Kuhlman, James Donegan, and Andrew Donegan.

A vigil will be held Wednesday, August 7th, 2019 from 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. at Lima Family Erickson Memorial Chapel, 710 Willow Street, San Jose, CA 95125. A Funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, August 8th, at 10:00 a.m. at Holy Spirit Parish,1200 Redmond Avenue, San Jose, CA 95120. Reception immediately following in the Parish Hall from 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Burial services will be held Thursday, August 8th at 2:00 p.m. at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, 22555 Cristo Rey Drive, Los Altos, CA 94024. Plot location: St. Michael's # 55-32.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Alzheimer’s Association, directly to Sally Donegan’s tribute page at http://act.alz.org/goto/sallydonegan or via mail to Alzheimer’s Association, National Headquarters, 225 N. Michigan Avenue, Floor 17, Chicago, IL 60601.

Services

  • Vigil Wednesday, August 7, 2019
  • Mass of Christian Burial Thursday, August 8, 2019
  • Reception Thursday, August 8, 2019
  • Committal Thursday, August 8, 2019

Memories

James Henry Donegan

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NANCY STEBBINS

September 23, 2019

NANCY STEBBINS

September 23, 2019

NANCY STEBBINS

September 23, 2019

love

Nancy Stebbins

September 23, 2019

NANCY STEBBINS

September 23, 2019

Becky Mcintyre

August 8, 2019

Bryan and I met James and Sally about 27 years ago. James was kind and dignified. His death is a great loss.

Kathleen Amneus

August 4, 2019

Hi Dad,

As the days draw closer to your Celebration of Life event it makes me realize that you are really gone from our sight but not from our hearts. It was all too recent that Mom - your Sally went away from this earth not long ago. The 7 of us kids are working together to help each other manage with the sadness of our loss of both you and Mom.
I love you, respect you, miss you yet I am happy that you are not in pain any more.

Nancy Stebbins

July 23, 2019

Nancy Stebbins

July 23, 2019

I cannot believe you’re gone Dad. I love you and was happy I could be there for you the last few hours of your life. I’m heart broken.

Kim Klindtworth

July 21, 2019

Jim a wonderful father in law. You will be missed
The last time I saw Jim was at Sally’s grave.
We spoke about what a wonderful family he had and I said I was happy to be part of the family.
His reply to me “ I’m so happy that you a Carolyn are together you made a difference in her life. It’s hard to say a final goodbye. I know however that Sally and Jim are looking down at all their children.

FROM THE FAMILY