In Memoriam: John W. Donahoo Jr., Trustee Emeritus
John Donahoo Jr., Trustee Emeritus, passed away May 28, 2019. A steadfast supporter of the school, he was beloved by those he knew professionally and personally. His servant’s heart for his family, friends, community, and the Episcopal Church guided a life devoted to the love and care of others.
John was, among many honors, a 50-year member of the Florida Bar Association and admitted and qualified as an attorney and counselor of the U.S. Supreme Court. He was President of St. Vincent’s Foundation, Evergreen Cemetery Association, Duval County American Cancer Society, Meninak Club, and Willing Hands. He was deeply involved with Jacksonville University, the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens, Camp Weed and Cerveny Conference Center, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Young Life, and served on the state boards of the American Cancer Society and the American Red Cross. He was given the National Philanthropy Award for Outstanding Volunteer Commitment in 2000.
A member of St. John’s Cathedral for more than 50 years, he served on the Vestry, the Executive Council of the Diocese, and received the Distinguished Service Medal for the Diocese of Florida in 2003. In 2009, he and his wife, Patricia (Patty) Hamilton Donahoo, received the Bishop’s Cross Award. John was a Charter Member of and served on the International Board of the Compass Rose Society and in 2014 was honored in London by the Archbishop with the Compass Rose Medallion.
Episcopal named John a Trustee Emeritus in 2012. He served the school as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1985-1993 and 1998-2005. Episcopal’s baseball training facility was named for John on March 7, 2017. The surprise dedication honored his longtime love for the school and his support for its athletic programs. John personally operated the backhoe to create dugouts in the early years of the baseball program. He was instrumental in building a relationship between Eunice Semmes, a Jacksonville philanthropist who loved children, and the school. Through John’s encouragement, Mrs. Semmes made lead gifts to build the Semmes Gymnasium in the late 1980s, and the Olympic-sized swimming pool, which opened in the early 1990s.
John is survived by Patty; his children, John Donahoo III ’88 (Gina) and Katherine Nott ’90 (Chris); and five granddaughters: Libby ’18, Abigail ’20, and Anna ’20 Donahoo; Kaitlyn ’18 and Lauren ’20 Nott. He is also survived by his brother and Episcopal Honorary Trustee Thomas M. Donahoo (Hazel), nephew Tommy Donahoo ’84 (Jennifer), great-niece Jane ’18, great-nephew Mitchell, who attended Episcopal as a member of the Class of 2021; and his niece Lizzie Donahoo Bishop (Tom) ’88 and great-nephews Tommy ’20, John, and Michael, and great-niece Liza ’18. A memorial service was held Tuesday, June 4, at St. John’s Cathedral. Gifts in his memory may be sent to St. John’s Cathedral, Camp Weed and Cerveny Conference Center, Episcopal School of Jacksonville, St. Vincent’s Foundation, and Jacksonville University.