Daniel A. McDonough
My father passed away January 24th in the early morning with Kevin and I at his side. We each held his hand as he slowly slipped away. We told him that we loved him. That we were proud of him. And I prayed one last rosary with him. While his death was unexpected and tragic, it had the beauty of love all the same.
Dad was born to Raphel and Lucile McDonough June 3rd, 1945. He was the second of five children. He was preceded in death by his parents, two siblings, Paula and Sara and his wife Elizabeth of fifty years, and son Delbert. He is survived by his sisters Rita and Clare. He was the father of three sons, Delbert, Kevin, and Gary McDonough. He is survived by his sons Gary (Kimberly) and Kevin (Brianna), 10 grandchildren Jessica, Jayde (Jeremy), Lorelle, Christopher, Olivia, Addison, Adrian, Liam, Sheridan and Finnegan.
Services will be held February 8th at Holy Angels Church located at 1322 Brown St, Dayton, OH 45409 at 10:00 AM. The family will receive visitors starting at 9:30 AM in the church vestibule. Following the mass, there will be a wake at the Knights of Columbus hall located at 267 Bainbridge St, Dayton, OH 45402. There will be food and beverages.
As those that truly knew my dad, they knew that he didn’t exactly embrace the social norm. From social skills to fashion sense he was his own unique man. My dad would show up at a party with a gilligan style hat with a shamrock embroidered on it, wearing a “Chick Magnet” t shirt, smoking his pipe, and annoying people with his oft told story about preferring cold coffee over beer and how “he must be sick.” It is with this in mind that I write a different type of obituary.
Dad was a man of passion and contradictions. He believed and loved deeply. With him you always knew where you stood. Good or bad...you knew. Regardless, if he was picking on you, it meant that he liked or even loved you. It was because of this one trait that he was most misunderstood.
We live in a world where people pretend to be good to cover up the real them. My dad, he did the exact opposite. He hid a heart of the purest gold with a cover of grumpy cantankerous attitude. It was his cover that that most people saw.
People saw a man who always spoke his mind. This is a mind without a filter and further compromised with the personality of an engineer that was raised in the 50’s. A sauve, socially graceful man my dad was not. But his honesty and genuineness attracted people to him and those that stayed, discovered a great man.
He was a great neighbor. He would always stop and talk to people on his daily walks. He knew people and watched out for them. If you were out of town he would watch your home and even mow your lawn without being asked and never asking or even accepting something in return. He took pleasure in going out in the early morning and clearing the snow from the walks and driveways of the those that could not. He took particular glee in doing this for people that didn’t get him and weren’t exactly a fan. He never told them that it was him. And most I am sure, never figured it out.
Dad was an amazing dad and grandfather. He was always there to support his sons. And we were but a shadow to his love and pride for his grandchildren. Never to let a good joke die, my dad loved telling...and telling...and telling any who would pause and listen how every time he came to see his son and his family, that he would upset “...either his son and daughter-in-law or the grandchildren by either bringing or not bringing balloons” and that “...he would never upset his grandkids”. If you knew my dad you heard this joke. Probably multiple times.
He was a devoted husband. Dad was at mom’s side for over fifty years. The did everything together. Finally, he cared for mom for over a decade of sickness. He cooked, cleaned, and helped with anything that she needed. When mom finally passed, he went to her grave every day to speak with her, to clean the leaves from the marker and to say a rosary for her. On his way home he would drive by the river and stop and watch the sunset. The only days that he missed was when he himself was in the hospital or snowed in.
Finally, my dad was a man of deep faith. He brought so many people to the church and stood as sponsor for them. He was devoted to Mary and handcrafted rosaries that were gifted to his loved ones or those that couldn’t afford them. He volunteered at the church, led bible studies and spent considerable time at the prisons, ministering to some of the most scary people ever to walk the earth. He brought the light of God and faith to those thought beyond redemption. He was a tremendous example of how to lead a faithful life.
This is but a glimpse of my dad. There is no way that I can summarize a life as layered and complex as my dad’s. He was a good neighbor, a great dad, an amazing husband, and a man of deep faith. Like the iceberg most only saw the top. Few ever saw the rest. I hope that those that didn’t know my dad as well and others will gain an appreciation for who he really was. To start to see the heart of purest gold just beneath the surface.