School 17

Benjamin Donaghy

December 9, 1928 ~ March 18, 2024 (age 95) 95 Years Old
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Benjamin Donaghy Obituary

Cadillac- Benjamin Harvey Donaghy of Cadillac passed away at the age of 95 on March 18, 2024, at Munson Medical Center of heart failure. 

Ben Donaghy was born and raised in Saginaw Michigan with his two brothers and two sisters. He graduated from Arthur Hill High School where he played football and ran track. Upon graduation he attended Michigan State Normal School (Eastern Michigan University) where he was the NCAA indoor pole vaulting state champion and where he first discovered his love of teaching and his future wife, Betty Pearson. After earning his teaching degree Ben enlisted in the Air Force and moved with Betty to Arrington, England during the Korean War. When Betty and Ben returned from overseas they settled back in Saginaw and raised four children; David Donaghy (Kathryn), Mark Donaghy (Ruth), Joanne McDonald (Rob) and Kaye Inglis (Bob).

Betty and Ben both found their life’s work in teaching. While Betty taught Special Education Ben taught metal shop, drafting, math, science, and the occasional gym classes at his alma mater, North School- where he had studied through 9th grade. He coached basketball, football, and track and loved being a positive influence in the lives of his students and throughout his community. Ben never truly retired as a teacher, however when he no longer had to work he picked up quite a few hobbies. He was a notable wood carver who helped create the Saginaw Carousel, carved an ornament for the presidential Christmas tree, and (his greatest teaching feat) taught his eight grandchildren how to carve Christmas ornaments with only a popsicle stick and a bar of soap. He was an expert fisherman, a talented gardener, and a great skier who always followed his own advice to “have fun”.  He loved spending summers with his family at the beautiful cottage he built on Otsego Lake. He loved teaching his children, grand-children, and anyone else that would listen, about carving, and about life. Betty preceded Ben in death by 14 days. Although he will be immeasurably missed by his surviving family, friends, and students, it’s to be sure that he was late for his date with Betty.

Funeral services will be held at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, March 26, 2024 with visitation from 12 noon until the time of service, at the Hitesman-Holdship Funeral Home.  Officiating will be Rev. Brennan Woell. Interment will be at the Maple Hill Cemetery in Cadillac. Memorial contributions may be directed to Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Cadillac. 
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family online at   The family is being served by the Hitesman-Holdship Funeral Home.

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March 26, 2024

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Hitesman-Holdship Funeral Home
620 North Mitchell Street
Cadillac, MI 49601

Funeral Service
March 26, 2024

1:00 PM
Hitesman-Holdship Funeral Home
620 North Mitchell Street
Cadillac, MI 49601


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