Joseph P. Donahue, Jr., Esq. Print E-mail

Joseph P. Donahue, Jr., Esq.


Retired attorney, community benefactor


Joseph P. Donahue, Jr., Esq. 88, a prominent Lowell attorney and a member of a well known Greater Lowell family, died Saturday afternoon at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston after a brief illness, surrounded by his loving family.
The beloved husband of Karen (Pope) Donahue since 2004, with whom he resided in Tyngsboro most recently, Joe was for most of his life a resident of Lowell but also enjoyed vacationing with his family in Rye, NH and Carefree, Arizona.
Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, May 20, 1925, the son of the late Joseph P. Donahue, Esq. and the late Dorothy F. (Riordan) Donahue, he attended Lowell schools and was a graduate of Keith Academy in the Class of 1942.
Joe proudly served his country during World War II as an Ensign with the U.S. Navy. He was the youngest Ensign ever assigned to command a transport ship.
Following the war, Joe returned to Dartmouth College where he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics in the Class of 1946. He then attained his MBA from the Tuck School of Business in 1948.
In 1952, Joe received his Juris Doctorate in law from Boston College Law School.
Joe began his professional career in Dallas, Texas. He studied oil and gas law at Southern Methodist University Law School, passing the Texas Bar in 1953. He served for several years as counsel for Three States Natural Gas Inc. and continued his legal career in oil and gas law in Texas.
In 1964 he returned to Lowell to join his father and his brother, Richard K. Donahue in the expansion of the family law firm, Donahue and Donahue. Founded by Daniel Jackson Donahue in 1887, Donahue and Donahue became one of the premier law firms in the Commonwealth, and represented clients from all over the country.
An active member of the Greater Lowell community, Joe volunteered his talents in many places.  He was a dedicated patron to several charitable, educational, religious and business organizations.
In the early 1970’s, Joe served as the Chairman of the committee which oversaw the merger of Lowell Technological Institute and Lowell State Teacher’s College into what is now UMass Lowell. He was awarded the University’s Presidential Medal for his efforts in 1976.
A longtime fundraiser for the Immaculate Conception Church and the religious order of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, he was a founding Director of the Oblate Men’s Mission Guild which raised money for the Oblates missionary work throughout the world.
A past President of the Lowell Chamber of Commerce, he also directed the fundraising effort in the mid-nineteen seventies to build a new YMCA.
Joe was the husband of the late Eileen (McGuire) Donahue, his wife of 46 years, who died March 26, 1996.
In addition to his wife Karen, he is survived by three sons Joseph P. Donahue, III and his wife Priscilla B, Wald of Durham, NC, Matthew C. Donahue, Esq. and his wife Lisa Gwiazda of Lowell, John B. Donahue and his wife Wendy of Lowell and his daughter Marianne Perchlik and her husband Andrew of Marshfield, VT; 14 grandchildren Evan M. and Nathaniel W. Donahue, Matthew J., Gregory D., Andrew J. and Peter M. Donahue, Jonathan P., Kathryn E., Brendan I., Daniel J. and Liam M. Donahue, and Mary M., Wren J. and Maple S. Perchlik.

He is missed and survived by step children Paige and Jason Johnson and their children Hunter and Wyatt, Derek and Samantha Bingley and their son Ezra, 
He was the brother of Richard K. Donahue and his wife Nancy of Lowell, Daniel J. Donahue his wife Marilyn of Barrington, IL, David Donahue and his wife Jean of Winchester, Dorothy Sullivan and her husband James of Westford and Catherine Donahue of Falmouth; and many nieces and nephews in greater Lowell, and points beyond.
Joe was the brother of the late Margaret (Donahue) Raney.
Friends may call at the O’DONNELL FUNERAL HOME 276 PAWTUCKET ST. at Fletcher from 4 to 8 P.M. on Tuesday. His funeral will take place from the funeral home Wednesday morning at 9 o’clock followed by his Funeral Mass at the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CHURCH (Lower Church) at 10 o’clock. Burial in St. Mary Cemetery in Tewksbury.  E-condolences/directions at Those wishing may make contributions in his memory to Joseph P. Donahue, Jr. Entreprenurial Fund for U/Mass Lowell, c/o JP Donahue Charitable Foundation, c/o Eno, Martin and Donahue, LLP, 21 George St., Lowell, MA 01852.  Arrangements by Funeral Directors James F. O’Donnell, Jr. and John W. Crane (978 or 866) 458-8768.