Fraser P. Donlan

12 entries
  • "The Manhattan College alumni community shares the grief,..."
    - fjohn reinke (mc1968)
  • "Dear Fraser & Family: So sorry to hear about your loss...."
    - Sylvia Kolosinsky
  • "What a great man!1!! I know you three know how much he and..."
  • "Pat and Fraser, Your father was the inspiration of our..."
    - David Korczakowski
  • "What a great obituary , a man of honor and integrity..."
    - annoymous
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Fraser Patrick Donlan of Blakely died on Nov. 12, two days before his 97th birthday, at Regional Hospital of Scranton. His wife was the late Dorothy Freeman Donlan.

Born in Lochore, Scotland, on Nov. 14, 1919, he was the son of John Donlan and Isabella Fraser Donlan. He was predeceased by sisters, Josephine and Sarah; and brothers, John, Michael, David, Terry, Philip and Huey. His family emigrated to the U.S .when Fraser was five years old.

Fraser was a graduate of Blakely High School, where he was captain of the football team and captain of the Lackawanna County Dream Game team of 1937. He graduated from Manhattan College, where he played football in every game for 60 minutes. The New York Press Corps Nicknamed him the "Sixty-Minute Man" and the "Iron Man of College Football." He was named All-Metropolitan Tackle and Outstanding Lineman for New York City. He also received honorable mention for All-American honors for the All-American football team. He was drafted by the Brooklyn Dodgers by a flip of a coin with the New York Giants to play football in the All-American Football League. However, after Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps on Feb. 15, 1943, and was assigned to the 4th Marine Division. In 1944, he helped the 4th Marine Division football team win the championship of the Armed Forces Pacific League.

While in the Marines, Fraser fought in campaigns in the Marshall Islands, Saipan and Tinian, the Mariana Islands and Iwo Jima. On Iwo Jima's Hill 382, after fighting for two days, only six men were left alive from a company of 245 men. On this hill, known as the "Meat Grinder," Fraser lost his left leg. He was wounded in action four times and earned four Purple Hearts. He also received two Silver Star medals, two Bronze Star medals and two Presidential Unit Citations and the Pacific Theater Ribbon with four stars. Fraser rose in rank on the battlefield from second lieutenant to captain. He retired from the Marine Corps for disability as a major on Nov. 1, 1946.

Fraser married the former Dorothy Freeman on Nov. 17, 1945. In January of 1946, he started teaching at Blakely High School and was an assistant football coach for John "Papa Bear" Henzes, who had been his high school football coach.

Elected to the Pennsylvania Senate in November 1946, Fraser served from 1947 through 1950. He campaigned for United States Congress and lost in a close election by 3,000 votes. He was appointed as a Workmans Compensation Referee by Governor John Fine on Nov. 27, 1951, and retired on March 25, 1980.

Fraser is survived by daughter, Sandra Ann and her husband, John; three great-granddaughters, Leah, Ava and Jessie; and their mother, Amy; by son, Fraser Jr. and wife, Sandy, Endicott, N.Y.; grandson, Joseph Donlan and wife, Stacy; granddaughter, Jennifer Donlan-Fitzgibbon Esq. and wife, Bekah; and great-granddaughter, Sienne; and by son, Patrick, with whom he resided. He is also survived by his close friend and caregiver of 20 years, Gloria; as well as many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service, with full military honors, will be private for family only and will be held on Friday at 11 a.m. in the Hedley W. Mason Funeral Home, 436 Main St., Peckville. Friends may call on Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Griffin Pond Animal Shelter, 967 Griffin Pond Road, South Abington Twp., PA 18411.


Funeral Home
Hedley W Mason Funeral Home
436 Main St
Peckville, PA 18452
(570) 489-2301
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Published in Scranton Times on Nov. 16, 2016
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