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Michael "Mitch" D. Donaly

July 9, 1940 September 7, 2019
Michael "Mitch"  D. Donaly
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Obituary for Michael "Mitch" D. Donaly

Michael Dennis Donaly, 79, of McMinnville, Oregon, passed away September 7, 2019 after more than five years of metastic melanoma cancer. He fought long and hard to live because he loved people and life. His wife, Becky was the love of his life. She and a few family members along with the pastor watched him peacefully leave this world. One of the things we’ll always remember is his open house where so many people came to see him daily for months. Also, they brought food and had happy hour any time the friends and family wanted. They all loved him and wanted to say goodbye while they could.
Michael was born to Kenneth and Bertha Donaly on July 9, 1940 in Kearney, Nebraska. When he was one, Mike moved with his family to Astoria, Oregon. He graduated from Astoria High School in 1958 where he was nicknamed Mitch, then attended Linfield College where he first lived in the dorm and then the old ATO house.
During the Vietnam War in 1963, he enlisted in the Navy. His training was in San Diego, California where he met and married Becky Gnessin in 1964. Most of his service was in Driver, Virginia. After his honorable discharge in 1967, he and a newly pregnant Becky, along with their baby Brad, drove to McMinnville so that he could finish at Linfield College where he graduated in sociology. Then he went to work for Yamhill County as a juvenile counselor for 13 years. During that time, he completed a Master’s program at OCE in Monmouth. Mitch changed careers to work as a car salesman. His first sales job was at Chuck Colvin Ford. Then he and his partner started a used car business at the south end of town.
From 1987 to 2013 he was a car salesman at Larsen Motors in McMinnville. When he received the news of his illness, he retired to continue treatments at OHSU.
As an active member of the First Presbyterian Church in McMinnville, he served as an usher, elder and deacon and volunteered at the Saturday Community Dinner. On many occasions, the church members could see him in the kitchen helping out with Becky. Mitch enjoyed his boys as they grew up, and taught them the love of sports. During their earlier grade school years, he served as their coach, encouraged and practiced with them as they played baseball. Mitch loved golf, traveling in his spare time and staying home with his family. Also he enjoyed playing games such as cards and bridge. He and Becky celebrated their 55th anniversary in Hawaii, which was their last vacation together. Most people loved Mitch because he was kind and loving, was a good listener and sociable.
His love of life, sense of humor and ability to get along with others, made people feel comfortable. Mitch was a good husband, father, son and brother. He valued and loved his family, relatives and friends.
Survived by his wife, Becky, sons Bradley and Lance, grandson Brandon, and sister Sheila McCluskey, Mitch will be missed by all.
Memorial services will be held at the First Presbyterian Church on Saturday, September 14, at 11:00 am. Donations can be made to the First Presbyterian Church of McMinnville, OHSU and McMinnville area cancer research centers.


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