John Donohue

Obituary of John Joseph Donohue


DONOHUE, JOHN JOSEPH “JACK” – Croaked (his word)  May 31, 2021.

Brother to William, Elizabeth, Helen, Irene, Patrick, Joseph, Mary Eileen and Colleen. In Sarnia and Toronto, John’s life was one of serving others. Upon completing his degree at Western University, he was drawn to religious life and ordained a priest. After a decade of tending his flock, he officially made a run for it and knocked on the doors of McGill University Law School, who let him in as a mature student.


While enjoying his summer break sailing around the lakes of Ontario, John's sister Irene introduced him to Sean and they married in 1975. Together they enjoyed travelling, entertaining and spending time in Palm Desert with long-time friends and family. He treasured Sean deeply.


Devoted father to Molly, Peggy and Nora, he spent countless hours cheering them on at games, editing essays and making their lunches. In his professional life, John loved the challenge of defending and prosecuting in the Ontario Criminal Courts. Innocent until proven guilty was lived as a principle. He defended the good in all his clients and made many long lasting friends in the legal field.


As Popsi (Grandfather) to Maximilian, Clara, Maeve, Bridget, Charlotte and Madeleine, he delighted in the little ones. He was always willing to dance around the kitchen, have bows added to his hair or tell a Sneezy Fox story; he was not so keen on diaper changes.


John, despite his poor eyesight, was an avid sportsman. He played football for St. Patrick’s High School (Sarnia), served up excellent points on the tennis court, cut a fine line down a ski slope and was a loyal Notre Dame fan. In past years, he could be seen rollerblading around Wanless Park, biking up Sunnybrook hill and impressing the grandkids with a splashy cannonball while on vacation in Singapore. John saw the humor in every moment and brought life to everything he was a part of.


He had a soft spot for anyone who needed help, whether it was a ride, a few bills folded into a palm, or a chat on the phone. He loved a good turn of phrase–a limerick and a perfect pun. His pockets were filled with word puzzles and a never ending supply of Kleenex and Trident gum.


Cremation has taken place. A Celebration of Life will follow at a later date. As a memorial, his family looks forward to an annual John Donohue Charades Game! Instead of flowers, we suggest an unexpected act of kindness. Messages of condolence may be left at the Humphrey Funeral Home website:


Popsi, we miss you!

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