In Memoriam: Mr. David Donahue

Marist School is remembering beloved Theology teacher Mr. David Donahue (February 15, 1942 – March 3, 2023), who passed away surrounded by family on Friday.
Mr. Donahue was born in South Boston, graduated from Boston College High School, and attended St. John’s University Seminary, where he earned advanced degrees in Theology and Philosophy. He then received a degree in Biology from Boston University. In 1969, David married his loving wife of 54 years, the late Ellin Flaherty Donahue. They were blessed with five children, Erin, Kim, Amy, Meg, and Patrick, as well as five grandchildren.

Following a long career in sales, Mr. Donahue found what he considered to be his “true calling” when he took a teaching position at Marist School in 2009. His daughter Erin Donahue Smith said that coming to Marist was the best thing that could have happened to him. “He found his niche.”

He enjoyed guiding upperclassmen in learning to apply their Catholic faith to the real world outside their Catholic schooling. He instructed the Synthesis of Catholic Belief class, a required course for Marist seniors who are Catholic, during the 2022-2023 school year before he fell ill.

Former student Krissy Downey ’13 reflected, “Mr. Donahue made every day at Marist more joyful and exciting. He was one of my biggest cheerleaders as a student and his support didn’t end after graduation. He was always wanting to know how my college experience was going and how I was keeping my faith alive in that new chapter. After graduating college, he continued to challenge me to remember that my faith is the only constant in this life. I will miss him dearly and think of him every time I hear a Boston accent, am struggling with my faith, or see an eagle stuffed animal. I know he will look down on all of us former students with the love and support only he knew how to give.”

Mr. Donahue’s colleague and Theology department chair Dr. Kathryn Hamrlik shared that “David was a brilliant teacher who cared deeply for his students and their spiritual development. He not only wanted students to know their faith, but also to embrace it fully. David coordinated students to offer reflections at each Wednesday morning Mass, which was just one his many efforts to help young people to nurture their relationships with God.” She went on to say, “I will miss David as a colleague in our department. We could always count on him to make us laugh through his Boston stories, his sarcastic wit, and his daily wisecracks—always delivered with a twinkle in his eye. He had a huge heart, and I will always treasure his friendship.”

Mr. Donahue had a reputation for good-hearted mischief, whether by leaving anonymous gifts on coworkers’ desks or sharing a cigar with friends over stimulating conversations. We hope each of you in our Marist community will find a way to join us in honoring his legacy during this time.

The family will receive friends on Monday, March 13, from 5-8 p.m. at Crowell Brothers Funeral Home, 5051 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Peachtree Corners, GA 30092. A funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday, March 14, at 10 a.m. at St. Jude the Apostle Catholic Church, 7171 Glenridge Dr, Atlanta GA 30328. A reception will follow. The burial will take place at Peachtree Memorial Park, 5051 Peachtree Industrial Blvd, Norcross, GA 30092.

If any of our students, faculty, or staff need support during this period of grief, the Marist Counseling and Campus Ministry departments are available. Marist alumni may reach out to Fr. Mark Kinney, S.M. for pastoral care.

Please join us in prayer:

Saints of God, come to his aid!
Hasten to meet him, angels of the Lord!
Receive his soul and present him to God the Most High.
May Christ, who called you, take you to himself;
may angels lead you to the bosom of Abraham.
Receive his soul and present him to God the Most High.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon him.
Receive his soul and present him to God the Most High.

Mary, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.

Marist School

3790 Ashford Dunwoody Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30319-1899
(770) 457-7201
An Independent Catholic School of the Marist Fathers and Brothers