Michael Joseph McDonough
April 12, 1947 - January 17, 2021
Merced, California - Michael Joseph McDonough (Mike) was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He passed away in his home on January 17, 2021, at the age of 73, after a courageous battle with cancer.
Mike was born to Joseph and Joan McDonough on April 12, 1947, in Atlanta, Georgia. The family moved a few times before settling in San Jose, CA, where Mike finished high school and met his eternal sweetheart, Linda. Mike joined the US Navy in 1968 and he and Linda were married shortly thereafter. The two enjoyed their newlywed years together in Japan where Mike was stationed, before he spent a year serving in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The couple went on to have four children and eventually settled permanently in Atwater.
After returning from Vietnam, Mike was honorably discharged from the Navy and pursued a career as a firefighter. He obtained an Associates degree in Fire Science and later a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies at CSU Stanislaus. He worked for the Merced County fire department and later the California Department of Forestry, for a total of 30 years.
Mike was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Throughout his life, he served in various capacities within the Church. For almost 50 years, he volunteered (and oversaw volunteers) at the Church's grape vineyard that grows raisins to distribute to those in need. He served as a volunteer at the Fresno LDS temple for over 12 years. He loved to help others and was an example of love, generosity, and service to all who knew him.
Anyone who knew Mike will remember his great sense of humor. Mike loved to tease, joke, and make people laugh. If you ever ran into him, you would be guaranteed a big smile and a joke. Even in his final days, he was still managing to muster up the strength to make those around him laugh.
Mike was incredibly devoted to his family. His family was always his top priority. He loved having his whole family together, and was always happy to barbecue for them or make his famous egg rolls to give them an excuse to gather.
Mike is survived by his wife, Linda; his sisters, Marie and Sue; his children Michael Jr., Sarah (Paul), David (Michele), and Ruthie (Rob); and grandchildren Garrett, Wyatt, Kailyn, Cole, Adam, Kyle, Jack, and Asher. Mike was loved by all who knew him and will be greatly missed.
Published in Merced Sun Star on Jan. 27, 2021.