Mary Jo Donoghue

November 7, 1947 - January 1, 2023

Mother, Grandmother, Wife and Life of the party, Mary Jo Donoghue was many things to many people and a stranger to none.  She embraced life and left behind a legacy of love, kindness, and extreme bargain shopping.  

Mary Jo, a nurse of 30 years, who demanded hospital corners when making a bed, was quick to offer the infamous sick blanket to anyone feeling ill.  She loved her family above everything else…with the possible exception of french fries, double caramel sundaes, and Chardonnay.  In Key West she was known as “Spring Break Mary Jo” where she still holds the world record for a flawless rendition of “The Unicorn” at Irish Kevins.  She urged all of us to: “be kind to ourselves” and to “never ever pay retail”.  She is famous for her Gramisms like “Find your happy feet'' or “You are all good kids!”.  She “allegedly” has been banned from Cowleys Pub for threatening to make her own nachos and once podiumed in an illegal Florida golf cart race during Winter Camp.  She is a patriot through and through, who cries during the national anthem, and who made 30 years of hosting July 4th family reunions at the lake look effortless. To her grandkids, she was the queen of tongue twisters, a master of the eye spy game, a purple-worm fishing savant, and someone who never turned down a good adventure.  

From the first day she was diagnosed with her terminal illness (and probably from the first day she was born), she lived life to the fullest.  She thumbed her nose at her disease right up to the end - a true profile of courage.  The woman with the motto of “shop til you drop” lost her battle with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis on January 1, 2023 but not before ringing in the new year in style, having one last sundae, and letting everyone know she has no regrets.

She is a force, a light, a ball of energy that made the world a brighter place and the bitter moments a little more sweet.  

Mary Jo is missed by all but missed in particular by her husband Robert Donoghue, her four children (Sean, Megan, Jamie and Katie), her “Outlaws” who she treated like her own (Frank, Jim, and Jennifer), and her six grandchildren (Melanie, Kyleigh, Kaitlyn, Addison, Finn, and Elliott).  She is preceded in death by her brother James Buffum and grandchild Jacob Wellner.

She has been called home to shine her light in Heaven on those who need it the most.  However, we all take comfort in knowing she is being welcomed home by her dog Bailey who she can resume feeding under the table when no one is watching. 

What a life!  What an adventure!  Till we meet again.  Rest In Peace Mary Jo!

Memorial Visitation for Mary Jo will be held Saturday, January 14th, from 2:00 p.m. until the time of her Memorial Service at 4:00 p.m. at McCabe Funeral Home, 31950 W. 12 Mile Rd., Farmington Hills. Her Memorial Service will be live-streamed and can be viewed at Mary Jo Donoghue's Memorial Service.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Mary Jo's name may be directed to Samaritan's Purse.

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  • Farmington Hills Chapel 31950 West Twelve Mile Rd Farmington Hills, MI 48334 (248) 553-0120

  • Canton Chapel 851 North Canton Center Rd Canton, MI 48187 (734) 981-4530