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Phil Donohue

1918 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Phil Donohue Obituary
Phil Donohue

Philip A. Donohue died peacefully at Dow Rummel Village in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on April 3, 2017. Phil was born in Sioux City, Iowa on July 11, 1918 as the second oldest of the six children of John J. ("Jiggs") and Margaret Josephine ("Jo") Donohue. He attended Trinity High School (Heelan High) in Sioux City and graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1940 with a degree in Business Administration. After serving as a First Lieutenant in the United States Army during World War II and receiving an honorable discharge, Phil attended Iowa State University and eventually returned to work with his father at the Sioux City stockyards.

On a chance encounter while having lunch with his mother Jo at a local Sioux City restaurant, Phil was introduced to Mary C. ("Connie") Greer. He had known the boys in the Greer family for years but had not paid much attention to their younger sister Connie. Phil and Connie were married a few years later on June 26, 1948, settled in Sioux Falls, and wasted little time starting a family. Phil had acquired the Rice Brothers Commission firm at the Sioux Falls stockyards where he sold cattle for farmers and ranchers until the mid-1990's. He authored regular articles on the cattle and grain markets for the Argus Leader and a number of agricultural publications. Along the way he was selected as "Boss of the Year" at the "yards" and developed a loyal following of satisfied customers. In 2006 Phil and others co-founded Sioux Falls Regional Livestock Market Inc. which operates three livestock auctions with locations near Worthing, SD, Sheldon, IA, and Sioux Center, IA. and which is the largest independent livestock sales company in the region.

As a high school athlete Phil excelled as a golfer, a basketball player and a football running back. He was a quarter finalist at the Western Junior Golf tournament in Chicago as a 16-year-old and was named an All-State Iowa running back as a high school senior. Turning down an offer to play football at the University of Notre Dame, Phil concentrated on golf and captained the golf team as a senior leading the Irish to an undefeated season. He was one of two NCAA All-Americans at Notre Dame in 1940. Phil continued his career as an amateur golfer qualifying for five United States Amateur tournaments and winning several city and state championship titles. Phil was a co-founder, Board member, and the initial President of the South Dakota Golf Association. For several years he served as the United States Golf Association representative in the State of South Dakota. He was also elected to the South Dakota Golf Hall of Fame and the South Dakota Athletic Hall of Fame. Golf provided Phil and his wife Connie with a circle of close, lifelong friends immediately after they settled in Sioux Falls in 1948 and helped them teach their children the value of hard work, honesty, integrity and competition.

Phil and Connie were members of the Church of St. Mary beginning in 1954 and educated their children in the Sioux Falls Catholic School System. Phil was a member of Minnehaha Country Club and the Sioux Falls Elks Club. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and enjoyed hunting pheasants and ducks with his friends as much as Connie disliked preparing wild game for dinner. He was always in his prime playing cards with his friends, singing a song or two at a piano bar or any gathering of family and friends willing to listen to his rich tenor voice, and singing with the church choir. And much to everyone's surprise, at the ripe old age of 73 and never having played a role in a theater production in his life, Phil auditioned for and then was given an important role in the Sioux Falls Community Playhouse production of the musical Carousel. He made friends wherever he was and whatever he did.

Phil is survived by his children Dan (Laurie), Tom (Kim), Mike, Margaret, and Tim (Christin), all of Sioux Falls, Patti (Steve) White of Dallas, Texas, Ann (David) Greenwood of Crystal Falls, Michigan, and son-in-law Tim Quinn of St. Paul, Minnesota, 17 grandchildren, and 19 great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister Joanne Loughlin Sanderson of Cherokee, Iowa, and his brother Thomas William Donohue of Denver, Colorado. Phil was preceded in death by his wife Connie, his daughters Susan Donohue and Mary Quinn, his infant son John, his parents Jiggs and Jo, and his brothers Jimmy, Jack and Kenny.

The family requests that in lieu of flowers donations may be made in Phil's memory to the St. Francis House, the Bishop Dudley House, or the Phil and Connie Donohue Family Fund at the Sioux Falls Catholic School Foundation. The family will be present from 5:00-7:00 pm with a scripture service and Rosary at 7:00 pm at Miller Funeral Home in downtown Sioux Falls on Sunday April 9, 2017. Mass of Christian Burial to celebrate Phil's life is scheduled at 10:30 am at the Church of St. Mary on Monday April 10, 2017. Following the Mass the family invites all in attendance to a luncheon in the parish hall. An interment service will be held at St. Michael Cemetery following the luncheon.
Published in The Argus Leader from Apr. 5 to Apr. 9, 2017
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