Philip Vincent Donohue’s interest in the Navy started at home where his father was a Naval Officer. Phil selected Nuclear Power, surprising many company mates and several math professors. After graduation and during the nuke pipeline, Phil decided to withdrew to enter the Surface Navy. During this period, he and Elisabeth Riley were married at Fort Meade in 1971. Phil was assigned first as DCA in USS Hugh Purvis (DD-709) and subsequently in Engineering in USS Detroit (AOE-4). Phil was assigned to shore duty in Bangkok as a JUSMAG Advisor. While preparing for this assignment at Defense Language Institute in Monterrey, his daughter Casey Kathryn was born in February 1975. In addition to being Valentine’s Day, it was the day of finals at DLI for Phil and Beth.
Phil resigned his commission in 1977 and returned to Philadelphia, where he joined the Container Corporation. Shortly after this, he and Beth were divorced, and she and Casey settled in the LA area. While remaining close with his family in New England, Phil took positions that steadily moved him across the US. Once on the West Coast, he was able to maximize time with Casey. He remained active by running daily and skiing, both activities being made better by sharing them with Casey. In 1989, he accepted a position as the General Manager of Newark Pacific Paperboard. This position meant he had total responsibility for all facets of plant operations, performance and profitability, a private-sector version of command.
It was fortuitous that Phil, Casey and his family were able to spend so much time together because in early 1993 he became ill. He died on June 3, 1993. Phil was an absolutely wonderful classmate, friend and father. He is sorely missed by all in his family and those of us he left behind in the Class of 1970.
Updated: November 01, 2018
Curator: Ed Moore