Cumberland Times-News


September 23, 2013

JOAN R. “PICK” DONAHUE [Spring Lake, N.J.]

SPRING LAKE, N.J. — Joan R. Donahue, affectionately called “Pick” by family and friends, died on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013.

While Joan lived most of her married life in Elizabeth, where she was a member of St. Genevieve’s Church, St. Genevieve’s Catholic Discussion Club, the Elizabeth Garden Club and was president of the Board of Egenolf Day Nursery, all while raising family of four sons, she loved living in Spring Lake the best. It is where she and her husband have shared his retirement for the past 12 years. We poignantly mention that Pick left this world on the last day of summer. For the family, life will never be the same at the shore without “Meem”, another term of affection used by her sons, daughter-in-law and her beloved grandsons.

In Spring Lake with family, she enjoyed every summer, her home, her lovely garden and fish pond and many friends. It is also where she enjoyed taking walks with her long history of canine companions, the last one being a black Cocker Spaniel named Duffy. She was a docent for the Spring Lake Historical Society for a short time.

Pick’s ready laugh and her ability to have fun in any situation were some of the reasons she was so well loved by all.  Even in the face of a serious mixed connective tissue disorder, which ultimately claimed her life, Joan’s light-heartedness and her inner-strength disallowed any suffering or discouragement.

Pick began this life as Joan Louise Reinhart. She was born in Cumberland, the first child of Melva Meister and Joseph H. Reinhart Jr. She graduated from Sts. Peter and Paul Grammar School and the Ursuline Academy in Cumberland. She was graduated also from the Georgetown University School of Nursing and worked as a nurse in the operating room in the Georgetown Hospital. In the following year, she worked as a nurse at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital in Hamilton, Bermuda. She returned to Georgetown as a scrub nurse and met a 4th year medical student, John K. Donahue, whom she married 58 years ago. Later she graduated from Douglas College with a degree in Political Science and Horticulture.

Joan was predeceased by two sons, Steven, who died at birth, and Brendan “Jerry”, who lost his life tragically and prematurely from injuries sustained in an auto accident at the age of 17.

Surviving are her husband, John K. Donahue, M.D.; three sons, John K. Donahue Jr. M.D. of Elizabeth, Brian F. Donahue of Spring Lake and Joseph R. “Josh” Donahue, Esq.; daughter-in-law, Lucia V.W. Donahue, Esq.; and two grandsons, Brendan and Connor of Ridgewood. Also surviving are her brother, Robert H. Reinhart Jr. and his wife Nadine, of LaVale; along with numerous nieces and a nephew.

Viewing will be at O’Brien Funeral Home, 2028 Route 35, Wall Township, N.J., on Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 from 4 to 8 p.m.

A Mass to celebrate her life will be said at St. Catharine’s Church, Spring Lake, on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013 at 9 a.m., followed by interment at St. Catharine’s Cemetery, Sea Girt, N.J.

For further information or to send condolences, please visit

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