Daniel G. Donahue Jr.

05/24/2011 5:32 PM |

Lifelong Calverton resident Daniel G. Donahue Jr. died May 23. He was 88.

He was born in Calverton on March 12, 1923, to Daniel and Sarah (McCormick) Donahue and attended school there.

Mr. Donahue, a farmer, was proprietor of the Farmer Dan farm stand on Middle Country Road in Calverton. He won many ribbons for his outstanding produce each year at the Riverhead Country Fair, where he would donate his potatoes to the Long Island Farm Bureau booth. He belonged to the Long Island Farm Bureau and the Calverton Civic Association and served as trustee of the Long Island Cauliflower Association.

According to Riverhead town historian Georgette Case, Mr. Donahue was the last survivor from a group of Irish farming families — also including the Rileys, Twomeys and Farrells — that left Ireland during the potato famine in the 1800s and settled in Calverton, which became known as “Irish Town.”

In the 1940s and ’50s, Mr, Donahue was part of the Calverton rescue squad and response team, which was later dissolved. According to family members, he loved to grow things, enjoyed food, loved animals and took great joy in life.

He was devoted to St. John the Evangelist R.C. Church in Riverhead, family said, where he volunteered as an usher and was once voted “man of the year.” He also served as treasurer of the Knights of Columbus and belonged to the Holy Name Society.

Mr. Donahue is survived by his brother, John, of Riverhead, and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sisters, Sarah, Eleanor Cichanowicz and Mildred Gatz.

Visiting hours are set for Wednesday, May 25, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m., at McLaughlin Heppner Funeral Home in Riverhead. A service will take place Thursday, May 26, at 10:30 a.m. at St. John’s Church. Interment will be at the church cemetery.

Donations may be made to Good Shepherd Hospice in Melville or the Hallockville Museum Farm in Riverhead.