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Charles Fitger Donnelly


1961 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Charles Fitger Donnelly Obituary
May 9, 1961 - February 1, 2017 Chip Donnelly, beloved son of Susanne F. Donnelly and pre-deceased by his father, Charles E. Donnelly III, died of a heart attack in Newport Beach. He was a staple of the sailing community and a champion of Harbor issues for the last 25 years. Born and raised in Los Angeles, Chip's early skills as a yachtsman were honed when on the day after his Harvard School graduation, Chip accompanied his family on a two-year sea voyage to the South Pacific on their 42' Westsail Cutter "Rejoice." He was his father's right hand aboard and learned how to navigate in the times before the luxury of GPS and SatNav. Upon returning he graduated from UCLA, spent some years in banking and active with the Bachelors' before heading for a life in Newport Beach where he became a Web Designer and skippered yacht deliveries to Mexico, Hawaii and as far away as Fiji. For the last eight years Chip lived aboard his 46' Jarvis Newman yacht "Toyon," moored at the Newport Harbor Yacht Club. He loved the sea and boats! Chip was on the Board of Directors of the Newport Mooring Association, and an active member of the Newport Harbor Yacht Club. Chip performed a crucial role on the NMA Board as that group's webmaster and computer "guru." His unique skill set proved invaluable as the NMA assisted the City in its effort to update and refine the official chart of Newport Harbor. Today, and for many future decades, users of the bay will benefit from Chip's tireless and precise work on that several-year project. He was an activist, teacher and community resource on harbor and boat related issues, often sharing information with committees and in newsletters about everything from the history of the harbor and its moorings to the sea lion population to the best methods for ship care. Chip was an Editorial Advisor of the "Complete Guide to Newport Harbor" published by the City of Newport Beach and the Newport Beach Harbor Commission. Survivors include his brother Douglas, two sisters, many aunts, uncles and cousins surnamed: Donnelly, Kendig, Williams and Haight. Chip's family wishes to express grateful thanks to Bill and Michelle Moses, Mark and Debra Horton, Phil Thompson and Odin Braathen for the special roles they played in his life. Deep appreciation as well to the entire Newport Harbor Yacht Club Staff and Community. Donations may be made in Chip's memory to the Newport Harbor Sailing Foundation (NHSF) which strives to make sailing more accessible to local sailors. To date, the Foundation has helped support the sailing dreams of more than 1,000 local young people. Contributions may be made by visiting the website at www.nhsailingfoundation.org or by e-mailing [email protected] "I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky, And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by." (John Masefield 1902)
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Feb. 5, 2017
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