Staff Sergeant James E. Donegan

February 21, 1936 ‒ September 11, 2016

Marion, Ohio
Formerly of Prospect, Ohio

A patriot died on Patriot’s day, Staff Sergeant James E. Donegan, died on Sunday, September 11, 2016, at 11:11 p.m. at the Marion General Hospital.  He was of Marion and formerly of Prospect.

On February 21, 1936, James was born in Dunkirk, Ohio, the son of the late Edward and Bertha (Messenger) Donegan.  His mother died when Jim was eight years old, and he was raised in foster homes in Delaware, Ohio, and attended Delaware High School.

When Jim was 17 years old, he enlisted in the U.S. Army to serve his beloved country.  After twenty years of service, he earned the rank of Staff Sergeant, and was “cited for meritorious service from December 1953 through December 1973.  During this period Sergeant Donegan served with distinction in various locations including Europe; Korea; France; Vietnam; Fort Knox, KY; Fort Jackson, SC; and Fort Campbell, KY.  In each of his assignments, his expertise and intense professionalism earned him the respect and admiration of all with whom he served.  Throughout his long and faithful service, Sergeant Donegan demonstrated unwavering devotion to duty as a wheel vehicle driver, squad leader, platoon sergeant and instructor.  Staff Sergeant Donegan culminated his illustrious Army career as Squad Leader, 594th Transportation Company, Fort Campbell, KY.  His intelligence, diligence, and complete dedication were distinct assets to each command with which he served and are reflected in the many outstanding accomplishments throughout his 20 years of service to his country;” such as earning two bronze stars, one with an oak leaf cluster, good conduct medals (six awards) with four overseas service stripes, United Nations Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with seven campaign stars, Republic of Vietnam with 60 devices, National Defense Service Medal with an oak leaf cluster, Korean Service Medal, and a sharpshooter expert medal.  He retired from Fort Campbell, KY, home of the 101st Airborne Division (Screaming Eagles).

Upon his honorable discharge, Jim was employed as a welder and welding inspector with the former Marion Power Shovel from 1975 to 1989.  He later worked private security at Nestle’s in Marysville for twenty years, retiring in 2010.

Shortly after the military, Jim married the love of his life, Brenda Sickles, on June 4, 1976, at Mt. Victory United Methodist Church by the Rev. Floyd Jepsen.

A man of faith, Jim was a member of the Grand Prairie Baptist Church and formerly of the Prospect Baptist Church, where he served in many capacities.  He also was a life member of the VFW Post 3313, and Marion Lodge 70, after unifications with the Prospect and Richwood Lodges.

Sharing a love for travel, Jim, Brenda and their family traveled across much of the world together.  They especially loved cruises, setting sail twenty times, making several trips to the Caribbean and to Alaska.

To say Jim was meticulous in everything he did would be an understatement.  His lawn was always immaculate, and the wood crafts he made precisely.

Simply put, Jim was an upstanding man in every way.  He had an infectious smile, and lived life as a great role model for his children and grandchildren, all of whom he adored.  To them, he will forever be their “hero”.

Left to cherish his memory are his beloved wife, Brenda Donegan; sons: James E. (Patricia) Donegan of Leesburg, VA, Kevin D. (Melissa) Price of Marion, OH, and Frederick A. Price of Marion; daughters: Dana (Phil) Price Larcomb of Charles Town, WV, and Danyelle (Jim) Donegan Issler of Prospect; two “adopted” daughters: Patti Garner and Penni May, both of Marion; thirteen grandchildren: Scott (Shelly) Price, Shane Price, Brittany (Steve) Foster, Sharelle, Samantha and Austin Larcomb, James III, Julianna (Scott) Hembach and Britanny Donegan, Aaron Issler, Hunter Price and Emily Cramer; eight great-grandchildren: Austin Price, Karlee and Karson Price, Brian Price, Cole Foster, Lillian Carroll, Deacon Hembach, and Kynleigh Milburn; brothers: Ray (Melissa) Donegan of Russells Point, OH, Chuck (Barb) Donegan of Findlay, OH, and Tom Donegan of Kenton, OH; sisters: Mary (Rev. Ted) Elrod of Leesburg, AL, Helen (Jon) Stefanka of Rawson, OH, and Ann Fenstermaker of Findlay, OH; a brother-in-law, Craig (Sue) Sickles of Belle Center, OH; several nieces and nephews; and Jim and Brenda also raised: Michael Donegan, Kim Rambeaux, and Joey Gaines in their home for several years.

Including his parents, Jim was preceded in death by his children: Belinda Donegan, LuCinda Price, and Brian Price; brother, Richard Donegan; mother-in-law, Eileen Griffis; father-in-law, Roy Sickles; brothers-in-law: Larry, Rick and Norm Sickles; and great-grandson, Brayden Blevins.

His family will greet friends from 2 – 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 15, at the Gunder/Hall & Snyder Funeral Home, 347 W. Center St., Marion.  Services honoring his life will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, at the Grand Prairie Baptist Church (address below).  A funeral procession will follow to the Prospect Cemetery, where military honors will be performed by the U.S. Army and Marion County United Veterans Council.

Memorial contributions may be made to Ohio Veterans Home, c/o Sweats for Vets, 3416 Columbus Ave., Sandusky, OH 44870, or Grand Prairie Baptist Church, 4893 Marion-Upper Sandusky Rd., Marion, OH 43302.

Snyder Funeral Homes of Marion honored to have been chosen to serve Jim’s family and your condolences may be expressed to them by visiting

  • Brenda, my sympathy to you and your family on Jim’s passing. Will keep you in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

  • Brenda,
    I am so very sorry for your loss. May peace and comfort find you during this difficult time.

  • Brenda and family, we were saddened to read of Jim’s passing. We will always remember his support and love for the Rainbow Singers. His smile and quiet personality will always be remembered.

  • Brenda and family my prayers are with you and your family I am so sorry for your loss I am so happy to have met Jim and Brenda and be part of the family My prayers are with you and your family love you guys and I’m so sorry for the loss

  • Brenda we are so sorry to hear about Jim. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time.

  • So sorry for your families loss!! Hope you will find some comfort knowing he is in a wonderful place!

  • Brenda,
    Pat & I are so sorry for your loss.
    Jim will be missed.
    Our prayers to you & the family

  • Thinking about you and your family. May God provide comfort and piece and may you cherish your memories. Until we meet again. Hugs!

  • Danielle I am so sorry for your and your family’s loss. You and your family are in our prayers.
    Love you

  • Brenda and Danyelle, our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. Jim was a pillar of strength and I loved his great sense of humor. Thank you for sharing him with us and the Rainbowers. We are eternally grateful. You are very special people to us. Carol and Paul Hoffman .

  • Brenda,
    We are so sorry to read of Jim’s passing, and we pray that you will know God’s perfect peace at this difficult time. We also pray that you and your family will be able to reflect on all of the wonderful memories that you have made together.
    God bless!
    Gary and Joanie Warner




  • Brenda and family, may God wrap his arms around you and give you peace and strength during these difficult times. God Bless, Dan and Sue Wisebaker

  • sorry for your loss..i knew jim when he worked as a guard at Nestles..he was a very nice guy….god bless

  • Danyelle,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • I had only just met Jim & Brenda on a recent trip to Washington D.C. with Honor Flight Columbus. To say that I will forever be changed is an understatement. It was my distinct pleasure to escort Jim on his Honor Flight that day. He was able to share some stories from his Army days with clarity and fondness as only a soldier could. It was wonderful to know him for the short time I did. Rest easy Jim.

    The Moody’s
    (Ryan, Tiffany, Faylinn & Ireland)

  • Brenda, we were saddened to hear of Jims passing. He fought a valiant fight. God bless . Love, Bill and Sandy Chard

  • Brenda, please accept my most sincere condolences. I am saddened to hear of Jim’s passing. You & yours will be in my thoughts & prayers.

  • Brenda, Dana/Phil, Kevin/Melissa, Freddy, Danyelle/Jim, James/Patricia, and family – we are sorry for your loss. Happy that Jim is now resting in the arms of the Lord. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. ~ The Schiefers

  • Danielle, I am so very sorry sweetie. You & all your family are in my thoughts & prayers. May God hold you tightly during this difficult time. He was such a great man to have known growing up & going to church with your family. Prayers to all of you!!!

  • Danyelle, Condolences to you and your family. Prayers are being said to comfort you and your family through this time.
    Mary Jean

  • I am so very sorry to hear about this great loss! Brenda and Danyelle, and all the family, will be in my prayers. Sending condolences and much love.