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Ray F. Donahou

Combs, AR, 1924 - 2010

Ray F. Donahou, 86, of Combs, Ark., passed away on Aug. 21, 2010 in Fayetteville. Mr. Donahou was born June 16, 1924 at Pettigrew, Ark., to Walter Eddie and Bertha Dellar (Watson) Donahou. He married his childhood sweetheart Ann Ward on April 20, 1946 shortly after returning from a tour of duty in the South Pacific during World War II. He was a Navy veteran achieving the ranks of Petty Officer 2nd class, Fireman 3rd class, and Electrician 1st class serving aboard the sub chaser SC 1002 and was known to his crew mates as "Sparky." He also served on YT 371 USS Smohalla. Mr. Donahou was a retired farmer, one of the first poultry growers in Northwest Arkansas. He also worked for the Royal Crown Bottling Company, the Arkansas State Highway Department, and as the Deputy Assessor of Madison County. Always active in his community, Mr. Donahou was a school board member for Saint Paul Public Schools for 15 years, many of which he served as president. Helping to facilitate building of the new high school in 1966 was one of his proudest achievements. He was a tireless worker to improve educational opportunities for all children. He and his wife were active members of the Combs Baptist Church in Combs, Ark. He was Sunday school superintendent and unofficial greeter for many years. He was a lifelong leader of the Democrat Party in Madison County. He is survived by his wife Ann, with whom he happily lived 64 years in the house they built together. He is also survived by four children: Phyllis Vanlandingham of Champaign Ill.; Judy Erickson, and her husband Allan of Atlanta, Ga.; Danny and his wife Janie of Fayetteville, Ark.; Dennis and his wife Dollie of Combs, Ark. He is also survived by nine grandchildren: Shannon Hunter and her husband Shaun; Melanie Hill; Michael Vanlandingham and his wife Mistie; Melissa Leistra and her husband Paul; Cara Davis and her husband Chris; Cassie Harris and her husband Andy; Derek Donahou; Denisa Mayes and her husband J.R.; and Darcy Donahou, plus six great-grandchildren and a host of friends. Mr. Donahou was a lifelong learner who was passionate about reading. In fact, he read most of his children's college textbooks especially the literature ones. Funeral service will be 10 a.m. Tuesday Aug. 24, 2010 at Combs Baptist Church with burial at Brashears Cemetery in Brashears, Ark., under the direction of Moore's Chapel in Fayetteville. Pallbearers will be Michael Vanlandingham, Derek Donahou, Andy Harris, Chris Davis, J.R. Mayes, Gene Kimball, Melissa Leistra, Darcy Donahou, Denisa Donahou Mayes, Shannon Hunter, Paul Leistra, Melanie Hill, Cara Donahou Davis, Cassie Donahou Harris, Shawn Hunter and Mistie Vanlandingham. Honorary pallbearers will be Claude "Bug" Eaton, Lee Mounce, James Johnston, H.D. Callaway, Bob Mounce, Charles Wharton, Ebb Riddle, David Hill, Allan Erickson and Wanda Kimball. As an alternative to flowers, the family requests that a donation be made in Mr. Donahou's memory to the Saint Paul School Library P.O. Box 125, Saint Paul, Ark., 72760. To place an online tribute visit

Published August 23, 2010

Moore Chapel
206 West Center Street, P.O. Box 1149, Fayetteville, AR
Phone: 479-442-7314