GREG DONAGHY
1961 - 2020
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DONAGHY, GREG September 8, 1961 - July 1, 2020 Gregory (Greg) Owen Donaghy died peacefully, on July 1, 2020, at the Ottawa Heart Institute, a week after suffering a heart attack. Greg leaves behind Mary, his wife of nearly 28 years, his children Katherine (Katie), Michael and Stephen. With them in mourning are his mother, Maureen, sisters Mary (Margaret) and Fionnuala (Philippe) and his many sisters- and brothers-in-law, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews and cousins. He is also mourned by Mary's parents Ron and Dawn Shephard. Greg was predeceased by his father Michael and brother Tom. Born in London, England, of Irish parents, Greg arrived in Toronto at a young age and quickly embraced his Canadian identity when he strapped on his first pair of skates, but never forgot his Irish heritage. He attended St. Michael's College School, where he made many lifelong friends. Greg's trip to Senegal with Canada World Youth ignited a lifelong passion for social justice, international relations and foreign policy. This continued at St. Michael's College, University of Toronto, where he met Mako Watanabe, who would become a lifelong friend for both Greg and his family and who graciously led Greg's final prayers, having long ago been ordained a Catholic priest, with Greg in attendance. Greg received his BA from the University of Toronto (1986), his MA from Carleton University (1989) and his PhD from the University of Waterloo (1998). After a long and illustrious career as a federal government historian, Greg retired in the spring of 2019 as Head of Historical Section, Global Affairs Canada. Never one to relax, he became Director of the Bill Graham Centre for International Contemporary History at Trinity College, University of Toronto. A prolific writer, he published Tolerant Allies: Canada and the United States, 1963-1968 followed by Grit: The Life and Politics of Paul Martin Sr., a finalist for the 2015 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize. He was also recognized for his accomplishments with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, awarded to him in 2012. Much to the sometimes dismay of his family, Greg's idea of fun was waking up before the sun for a long bike ride up to Pink Lake. Known to park his car the furthest possible from any entrance, Greg was born to run. After being introduced to running by his wife 32 years ago, it became an integral part of his life. Greg managed to finish his last run before passing on. When Greg did take a well-deserved rest, he could be found reading on Little Whitefish Lake, cooking Sunday dinner for his family, reading, traveling, engaging in vigorous debate, or, if he had just finished his weekend lunch, napping on the couch. Never one to boast, Greg was most proud of his three wonderful children, Katie, Michael and Stephen. His greatest joy was bringing them into this world with the love of his life, Mary. Mary and her children want to thank the exceptional staff at the Ottawa Heart Institute, especially nurses Samantha, Elfreda and Ryan, for their compassion. A Funeral Mass will be planned when COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Shepherds of Good Hope or the Ottawa Regional Cancer Centre, and please register as an organ donor.

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Published in Toronto Star on Jul. 6, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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47 entries
September 10, 2020
I am so sorry to hear of Greg’s passing. I worked with Greg many years ago, at the French Trade Commission in Toronto. Must have been 1982-1983ish. I think he was working there as a break between high school and university, he was very young - but wise beyond his years. I can say he played a pivotal role in my own career. I had returned to the FTC in 1983 after a maternity leave to find that my job had pretty well disappeared. I was devastated. Greg was of course sympathetic... but more importantly, he started bringing me career ads from the Globe and Mail. “You could do this job, or this job, or this job...” He was so sweet, but his choices were way beyond what I thought I could do. But if did get me thinking... and I also started looking at the Globe and Mail ads (normally I would have thought the G&M postings were beyond me.) and I did find a posting that intrigued me - Chief of Staff to the Director of the Art Gallery of Ontario. I asked Greg “Do you think I could do this?” His answer - “You would rock that job, go for it!” And I got it. Greg gave me the confidence to go for it. I don’t think I would have tried without his confidence. An 18-year old counselling a 31-year old. I will never forget him and the change he made in my life. I ended up working for more than 30 years at the AGO and it was the best career I could have ever hoped for. He was a very special person. I’m sorry he did not live longer but he packed a lot of knowledge and experience in the years he had. I will always have a warm place in my heart for him.
Beverley Carret
Coworker
August 7, 2020
We are saddened with the news of Greg's passing. Our warmest condolences to Mary, Katie, Michael and Stephen. My daughter played soccer with Katie and my son played hockey with Michael. Therefore our families spent a lot of time in the rink or on the soccer pitch. Greg was often there calmly watching these important events in our kids lives. I first met Greg at Global Affairs where I worked early in my career and with the kids activities, we maintained a good friendship. We also live in the same neighbourhood. I will miss seeing him on walks, runs or on the bike on our neighbourhood streets. I'll also miss his thoughtful commentary on issues of the day. He was a wonderful human being and we've lost a good one. All the best to the Donaghy's during this difficult time - Lorraine McKenzie Presley and the Presleys (Drew, Emma, Justin)
Lorraine McKenzie Presley
July 27, 2020
I worked with Greg in 2012-2013 when I was a fellow in the Policy Research Division at Foreign Affairs. Greg was extremely kind and welcoming to me while I was there and helped me a great deal with my work. I've since moved to Toronto and was so excited when I heard that Greg had started to lead the Bill Graham Centre. We reconnected last year and were in the midst of corresponding on how I might become more involved with the Centre when he passed away. I've made a donation in memoriam to the Shepherds of Good Hope - it seemed so fitting for such a friendly and caring man. I'll miss him greatly. My condolences to all his loved ones - he was a wonderful, wonderful man.
Michael Urban
July 27, 2020
I actually knew Mary more than Greg, as we lived at St. Joes together, but I do have 2 strong uni memories of Greg. Being from Hamilton, I had never given much thought to global issues, but Greg's campaign to get St Mike's pubs to stop serving S.African beer as a stand against apartheid really made me consider how local actions have global consequences, and that still stays with me 40 years later. And my other memory is dancing to London Calling, Sunday Bloody Sunday, Should I Stay or Should I go, etc at St Mike's pubs--I can still see Greg jumping around to the music, dripping with sweat. What endurance! Good idea to get him into running, Mary! ;) He was so young and vibrant, what a shock, Mary!!! Can't even imagine. Thinking of you xoxoxo Colleen Reed Francisci
Colleen Francisci
Acquaintance
July 19, 2020
Greg and I first became friends many years ago at UofT and continued our friendship through graduate studies at Carleton and then in the years of life beyond.

A thoughtful, kind, wonderful person and very gentle soul.

My deepest condolences to Mary, the children and extended family. It is a very big loss for you all.

My sympathy,
Cathy Blacklock
Cathy Blacklock
July 17, 2020
I got to know Greg through our discussions on the history of Canadian foreign policy. He later spoke to CIC Nipissing in North Bay in 2017. Greg's wisdom and scholarly efforts in this regard were extraordinary. Greg, you will truly be missed. Sincere condolences to the Donaghy family.
John Allison
July 14, 2020
14.vii.2020

How sad to learn of Greg Donaghy's death, the loss of a good friend. He and I often met and talked together during my last ten years in the Department, to 2012, when he was an unparalleled source of knowledge and information dispensed with charm and good humour. Our last chance encounter on Beechwood over a year ago remains as a happy memory. My sincerest sympathy to his family.


Rodney Moore
Ottawa
July 11, 2020
I had a drink with Greg some weeks ago, and was looking forward to staying in touch. We had chatted off and on for many years. What a fine person. I'm in shock. I send my most sincere condolences.
David Dyment
July 10, 2020
My sincerest and deepest condolences to the members of Greg's family as they mourn his passing. Greg was one of Canada's great historians and public servants who made an enormous contribution to the study Canada and its role in the world.
Fen Hampson
Acquaintance
July 10, 2020
I worked with Greg at GAC, he was fantastic to work with. Sorry for your loss

-Julie Carle
July 10, 2020
Maureen and family: On behalf of all who attended the Ivory family reunions in Norwich, NY, we send our sincere condolences in your time of sorrow. Donna and I will have you and Greg in our thoughts and prayers. James Ivory Dunne
July 9, 2020
Greg - almost by himself - allowed the Old Ottawa East Community Association to mount its sesquicentennial prime ministers speakers series. His contacts with academics in the Canadian historical world meant they came forward to educate and indulge us. And Greg came to all of the sessions, asking insightful questions and giving legitimacy to our enterprise. What a man.
john dance
July 9, 2020
I am saddened by the passing of a fine colleague and extend sincere condolences to Gregs family.

Greg was a dedicated historian who made great contributions to our understanding of Canadas role in the world. He left us too soon but leaves an important body of work for scholars and diplomats.
Vincent Klassen
Coworker
July 8, 2020
As friends of Greg's mother and father we followed his career with much interest. We also watched him deal with the various health challenges that faced his family members and himself, with quiet faith and dignity. He was a gifted man, who, as a historian, contributed so much to Canadian society. He was a faithful husband and father, and a good friend to many.It is hard to accept that he has left us in body; he leaves behind an extraordinary legacy in his children, and his work as a historian. We will miss him so much.
Pamela and Tom Roth
July 6, 2020
What a lovely tribute to an amazing person. May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Andrew Sacret & Zac Chrumka
July 6, 2020
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow. R.I.P Greg
From Caroline & Michael Donaghy
Caroline Donaghy
Family
July 5, 2020
I am truly sorry for this very sad loss of your Greg. You and your children will be remembered very specially as you move through this time of remembrance. You are being called to a new place in your life and I will pray that your heart and the hearts of your children may grow lighter with each passing day. I will see you in your time. Blessings in abundance Mary. Nickie
Nickie Levesque
Friend
July 5, 2020
Such a sad time for the Donaghy family.

I had the pleasure of knowing Greg early in our lives. We spent a lot of time together as kids riding bikes, sports and just hanging out in our Blue Flames gang. We went to high school together with Pete and it was at St. Mikes where Greg really carved his path for his future. He was active in the student government and was writing for the school newspaper. In our graduating year, Greg was Vice-President. He was a leader with a conscience.

Youll be missed by all your family and friends.
John Sexton
Friend
July 5, 2020
I had the privilege of working with Greg on several occasions and was always impressed by his can-do attitude and passion for his work. Despite a heavy list of commitments he found time to co-author a History of Protocol during my time as Chief of Protocol of Canada and later as Ambassador to Greece he oversaw the preparation of a short history to mark the 70th anniversary of Canada-Greece relations. He was a subject matter expert on Canadian peacekeeping in Cyprus and was an invaluable resource. A gentleman and talented scholar who left us far too soon. Deepest condolences to his family and many friends.
Robert Peck
Coworker
July 5, 2020
I had the privilege of working with Greg on several occasions and was always impressed by his can-do attitude and passion for his work. Despite a heavy list of commitments he found time to co-author a History of Protocol during my time as Chief of Protocol of Canada and later as Ambassador to Greece he oversaw the preparation of a short history to mark the 70th anniversary of Canada-Greece relations. He was a subject matter expert on Canadian peacekeeping in Cyprus and was an invaluable resource. A gentleman and talented scholar who left us far too soon. Deepest condolences to his family and many friends.
Robert Peck
Coworker
July 5, 2020
I had the privilege of working with Greg on several occasions and was always impressed by his can-do attitude and passion for his work. Despite a heavy list of commitments he found time to co-author a History of Protocol during my time as Chief of Protocol of Canada and later as Ambassador to Greece he oversaw the preparation of a short history to mark the 70th anniversary of Canada-Greece relations. He was a subject matter expert on Canadian peacekeeping in Cyprus and was an invaluable resource. A gentleman and talented scholar who left us far too soon. Deepest condolences to his family and many friends.
Robert Peck
Coworker
July 5, 2020
I had the privilege of working with Greg on several occasions and was always impressed by his can-do attitude and passion for his work. Despite a heavy list of commitments he found time to co-author a History of Protocol during my time as Chief of Protocol of Canada and later as Ambassador to Greece he oversaw the preparation of a short history to mark the 70th anniversary of Canada-Greece relations. A gentleman and talented scholar who left us far too soon. Deepest condolences to his family and many friends.
Robert Peck
Coworker
July 5, 2020
We send our sincere sympathy and condolences to Gregs wife Mary and their family on their great loss. We also wish to sympathise with his mother Maureen and his sisters Mary and Fionnuala, his uncle John and all the family, friends and relations who will greatly miss Greg. May he rest in peace. You are all in our thoughts and prayers at this time
Bill & Judy Carey
July 5, 2020
Our sincere sympathy, our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Bill and Ellie Ivory
Friend
July 5, 2020
We are so very sad and sorry that Greg has left too soon. I have warm memories of Greg that include remembering his cool confidence in high school, and happily meeting back up here in Ottawa, when our sons played on the same hockey team. There were some lovely Saturday morning coffee conversations post hockey boy workouts at Mooney's, and we were always happy for chance meetings with Greg while out riding. Mrs. Donaghy, Mary D and Mary Sheppard, Katie, Michael and Stephen, our hearts go out to you. Mary, Richard, Gillian and Graham Daly.
Mary Daly
July 5, 2020
Having first met Greg 20-odd years ago at one of the biennial gatherings of the International Committee of Editors of Diplomatic Documents, memories will linger of Greg as the very engaged representative of Canada, with whom every conversation pervaded with evidence of lasting friendship. He will be sadly missed.
Marc Dierikx
July 4, 2020
J'ai rencontré Greg en 1981 , lui étudiant â U of T et moi en stage à Toronto . Depuis notre amitié n'a jamais cessé et je suis trs fier et trs honoré de sa fidèlité. Greg est venu plusieurs fois nous visiter sur notre ferme dans le sud ouest de la France qu'il aimait beaucoup .
Grâce à lui et à toute sa famille nous aimons aussi le Canada .
Merci pour tout Greg , mon ami .
Et nos pensées pour les tiens dans la peine .
Henri Boullier
Friend
July 4, 2020
He was my student at the University of Toronto almost 40 years ago. He took all or most of my courses. I remember his smile and his lively questioning mind. I think that he enjoyed life and only regret that it ended so soon. He may have been attracted to my courses on African history because he had been to Africa, but I was always delighted to have him in my class. My condolences to his family.
Martin Klein
Teacher
July 4, 2020
I am deeply sadden by the news of Greg's passing. We were friends and colleagues at Global Affairs for many years beginning in the mid 1990s when the Historical section of the Department was part of the Communications Bureau and we saw each other on an almost daily basis. He was working on the "Documents" series while undertaking research in other areas of Canadian foreign policy. He was important team player at the time in our "Reaching Out to Canadians" communications strategy designed to raise awareness of Canada's role in the world and played a key role in the 25th anniversary open house of the Lester B. Pearson Building in 1998. Greg visited me in Australia in 2002 and I remember well a wonderful "bushwalk" we undertook in Namadgi National Park outside Canberra. He was a strong advocate of the Historical program (of course!) as well as the Canadian Studies programs at the Department. He was a respected and prolific author on Canadian foreign policy, and promoted and mentored young historians in this area. He will be remembered for all these accomplishments, but also for his kindness, generosity and fairness. I will remember him as my friend. I express my sincere sympathies and deepest condolences to his spouse, family and friends.
Gaston Barban
Gaston Barban
July 4, 2020
We will always hold fond memories of our great discussions (politics and history) with Greg at the annual Donaghy Boxing Day gatherings. Greg was a man of great compassion and achievement, his self-proclaimed and most cherished being the loving bond he shared with Mary and their children, Katie, Michael and Stephen. Greg was truly a gentleman and a scholar, a family man and a friend. Our thoughts and prayers are extended to the entire Donaghy family.
Sincerely, Freddy and Andrea Smith
Fred and Andrea Smith
July 4, 2020
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FREDERICK G. SMITH
July 4, 2020
What a wonderful smile. Howard and I offer our love and prayers to sister Mary and Margaret, and also to Greg's wife and children and especially his mom. Hope there will be an opportunity to celebrate his life once this COVID season is passed.
Sharon Moon
July 4, 2020
Gone too soon. Greg was an excellent historian of diplomacy and politics with many publications to his credit including the official history of the Department of External Affairs ( Volume Three 1968-1984 with two others).

He was a valued colleague to many.

Gary J. Smith
Former Canadian Ambassador
Gary J. Smith
July 4, 2020
So sorry to hear about Greg's passing away. I had the chance of having Greg as a colleague in 2001-2003. He was an excellent and very competent colleague. I truly enjoyed (and still do) reading his books. He will also be missed in the Canadian historical community to which he contributed so much.
Roger Belanger
July 4, 2020
Grateful to have had the opportunity to work with Greg, as co-editors for "International Journal." A thoughtful and generous colleague, who will be sorely missed.
Brian Bow
July 4, 2020
My sincere condolences to the Donaghy family for your loss. Greg was a spinning buddy at the 6:30 am class at the RA Centre. I've missed our discussions on politics and history since the Covid shutdown and it's very sad now to know we won't have the benefit of Greg's presence whenever the spinning classes resume again. May he rest in peace.
Bill McCloskey
July 4, 2020
I am very sorry to learn of Greg's passing. We worked together in the Policy Research Division and I will always remember his kindness to his colleagues and his dedication to his important work. Sincere condolences to his friends and family.
Pam Isfeld
Coworker
July 4, 2020
I knew Greg only since he came to Trinity College, UofT, but I quickly came to like him very much. With a similar passion for social justice, we saw many things in the same light. I wish we could have worked together for many years. Greg will be missed and remembered. My condolences to his family. With sympathy,
John Duncan
John Duncan
Coworker
July 4, 2020
Sorry to hear this news and condolences to the family. Played many Saturday night hockey matches with Greg. Great skater and tenacious forechecker. We will miss him very much.
Dave saville
Friend
July 4, 2020
R. I. P Greg........
Condolences to all the family.... My heart is with you all at this sad time.
All my love xx
Annette Donaghy
Family
July 4, 2020
Greg and I used to chat in the bike lockers at 125 Sussex. Whenever I arrived and I would see he was there I would try to come up with ways to casually get him talking about the history of the Department, about which he was always full of wisdom and knowledge. It was always a joy (and an education) to speak with him. I thought that the Bill Graham Centre was lucky when he headed over there. I am very sorry to hear of his passing.
Daniel Loutfi
Coworker
July 4, 2020
R,I.P Greg ,,, Condolences to the Family.! marcella Greg and Family , .
marcella.and . Greg Donaghy
July 4, 2020
My condolences to all for your loss. I remember Greg as always smiling, a proud father.
Barbara Trott
July 4, 2020
I had the pleasure of working with Greg at Global Affairs Canada where he was a frequent and valued client of our Library. He is gone far too soon and will be missed by many. My thoughts and prayers to Greg's family and friends.
Jo-Anne Valentine
Jo-Anne Valentine
July 4, 2020
Our deepest condolences to the Donaghy family for your loss. Fond memories.
John and Julie Coppinger
JOHN COPPINGER
July 3, 2020
It was an honour to work alongside Greg in our respective post-Global Affairs careers, he leading the Bill Graham Centre for Contemporary International History and me next door heading the Canadian International Council. A partnership we had hoped we would last many more years. I will miss Greg
Ben Rowswell
July 3, 2020
So sorry to learn of the death of Greg ! Condolences to the family !
Kitty Mcgilly
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