Recognizing Mr. Jeffrey W. Donahue As He Celebrates His 100th Birthday

Floor Speech

Date: May 11, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to recognize Mr. Jeffrey ``Jeff'' W. Donahue, a resident of Virginia's 11th Congressional District, as he celebrates his 100th birthday on May 14th of this year.

I had the honor of meeting Mr. Donahue in 2019 at a Memorial Day Ceremony in the town of Vienna, Virginia. A veteran of World War II, Mr. Donahue was a naval aviator flying an F4F in combat missions in the Pacific Theater while serving aboard the USS Salamaua. His remarks at the ceremony focused on his service to his country and the sacrifices made by many members of his generation who lost their lives in the war. He was 96 at the time, yet he spoke with clarity as though he were talking about events he had just experienced. Following World War II, he continued his military service in the reserves, when he was called once more to serve as a flight instructor in Pensacola, Florida during the Korean war.

Like so many military veterans, Mr. Donahue took advantage of the G.I. Bill to earn a bachelor's degree from the University of Connecticut. He then pursued a career in the insurance industry with Fireman's Fund Insurance, which took him and his growing family on a journey to many cities on the east coast until their final move to Fairfax County in 1970.

Service to his country and community defines Mr. Donahue's life. For years, he has been an active member of his church and volunteered as a tutor for elementary school children into his mid-90s.

There is an adage that age is just a number, which certainly holds true for Mr. Donahue and his wife, Barbara. Over their 72 years together they have raised 6 children, 5 of whom graduated from James Madison High School. As their family tree grows, they now have 13 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren who affectionately call them Pop and Gram.

Mr. Speaker, as we celebrate Jeff's 100th birthday, I want to extend my best wishes for a joyful gathering of family and friends. I also extend my appreciation for his service to our country. Happy 100th birthday, Jeff.