Elwin L "Irish" Donahoo
February 17, 1930 - November 18, 2020
On Wednesday, November 18, 2020, Irish Donahoo passed away at his home at the age of 90. He was surrounded by his family. Born in his home on February 17,1930, in Lincoln, NE to Paul and Bertha (Barnett) Donahoo, Irish was a life-long native of Lincoln, NE, and never moved far from his hometown. He was hardworking, a talented musician, frugal, and happy. He graduated from Lincoln Northeast High School in 1949 where he was voted the captain of his high school football team. On August 16, 1953, he married Betty Jean (Sharpnack). Betty and Irish raised their children in the first home they bought in 1957 and made this their lifelong home where he spent his final hours. Prior to a 40+ year career with Western Electric, Irish was employed by Miller & Paine. He was a member of Masonic Lodge #210, a Shriner, past commander of Mount Moriah Commandery 4 and member of Starcraft Chapter #307, OES.
He began his love for the steel guitar at the age of 8. He was inducted into America's Old Time Music Hall of Fame on October 6, 2012. He was the founding member of The Cornhusker Music Club in Louisville, NE. He was a member of multiple bands including The Country Outlaws, Rawhide, Country Caravan, and Country Pride, giving him the opportunity to play his steel guitar at numerous venues in Eastern Nebraska and Kansas. He had many offers to go play his steel guitar professionally, but he chose to stay in Lincoln to raise a family. He played all his instruments by ear, including the dobro, the mandolin, and guitar. He attended and performed with professional steel guitar musicians at The National Steel Guitar Convention over Labor Day weekends in St. Louis, MO, for several years, traveling with his wife and friends. He met and performed with Patsy Montana and Joe and Roselee Maphis. He had the honor of meeting and performing with Ernest Tubbs, steel guitar player.
He loved traveling to their cabin in Minnesota in their motorhome. Spending many summer weeks in Minnesota with his family. Later in his life, he enjoyed going out to eat and spending time with his family and friends. He always ended his phone calls with "I love you, bye-bye."
He was preceded in death by Betty Jean, his wife of 49 years, and survived by daughters: Sandy L Spooner(Terry), Patricia A Schmidt (Greg) all of Lincoln, NE. Sons: Jon (Linda) of Georgetown, FL, and Robert (Jolin) of Lincoln, NE. He is also survived by his brother and sister-in-law Llyod and Wilma Donahoo, Millard, NE, sister-in-law Priscilla Sharpnack, Greenwood, NE. Grandchildren Shannon Donahoo, Mikayla Obermier, Nash Schmidt, Sydney, Sawyer, and Sloan Donahoo, two great-grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews, special friends Mary Woodcock friend and neighbor of 78 years and Donna Matthes. He was known as Papa to Nash, Sydney, Sawyer, and Sloan. Sydney described her Papa as loving. Sawyer described her Papa as caring. Sloan described his Papa as dynamic, sociable, and affectionate. Papa called Sloan his little "Irishman." He called Sydney and Sawyer his sweeties.
He was also preceded in death by his parents, infant brother Wesley, sister and brother-in-law Bonnie and Gene Kalkwarf, sister-in-law and brother-in-law Marilyn and John Erickson, brother-in-law and sister-in-law Kenneth "Lee" and Mary Sharpnack, sister-in-law and brother-in-law Laverna and Chuck Donahoo, brother-in-law Joseph Clyde Sharpnack Jr.
"Thank you for all the love you gave me. There could be no one stronger." Hank Williams Sr. We will miss you so much Dad and Papa.
Visitation will be Monday November 23, at the Lincoln Memorial Funeral Home 6800 S. 14th St from 5-7 pm. Private family services will be held Tuesday November 24, at 10 am and may be viewed on Facebook at Lincoln Memorial Funeral Home and Cemetery, press like and then press videos. Memorials are suggested to the Shriners Hospital. Condolences online at lincolnfh.com