On July 1, 2019, surrounded by family and friends, Clare L. Donahue died peacefully after a brave battle with lung cancer. She was 72.
Clare loved Salem, Massachusetts, the town in which she was born in 1947 to Donald and Sophie (Mazeikus) Donahue. Her education began at Ste. Chretienne Academy, before progressing to Regis College in nearby Weston, Massachusetts. Upon graduation, she moved to Washington, D.C. to work for the federal government.
In 1991, she and her son Alex switched coasts, where Clare continued a career in government service. Her long and distinguished career included executive positions with the Washington State Department of Information Services, the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction and as Executive Vice President at the University of Washington.
A dedicated bird lover, she contributed her time and effort to the International Crane Foundation and also to the Smithsonian Zoo, as a volunteer ornithologist. Clare was largely defined by the things she loved: travel (especially to Hawaii); horses; birds; dogs (lots of dogs); and tending her splendid rose garden. She loved exploring history and exhibited genuine artistic talent as a painter and decorator. She was a generous and welcoming hostess and an excellent cook. Those who had the good fortune of visiting her home were met with open arms, spirited conversation and deeply satisfying meals.
Those who loved Clare feel the tremendous loss of an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest and gave so much to the well-being of others.
Clare is survived by her son, Alex Donahue Schmidt of Olympia; sister, Patricia Donahue of Salem, Massachusetts; stepson, Kevin Biggers of Oregon City; and stepdaughter, Vanessa Biggers of San Francisco.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Concern for Animals, 1414 State Ave. NE, Olympia, WA 98506.
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