Sidney J. Donohue

January 06, 1975 ‒ January 24, 2015

Johnstown, Ohio

If it had wheels or tracks, he could drive it and if it was broke he could fix it. Not just his own but he did the same for his friends, family, and community. This sentiment describes Sidney J. Donohue, age 40 of Johnstown who died unexpectedly from an accident doing what he did best, lending a helping hand on Saturday morning January 24, 2015.

The term gearhead is a slang term that refers to a person who is extremely interested in fixing, modifying and rebuilding things and that too describes Sidney. His father perhaps described him best; “he loved to and would rather help someone else rather than drive a nail at home”. His helping hand was almost a fault, but speaks volumes about his character.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa on January 6, 1975, he was the beloved son of David C. and Eleanor I. (Gamble) Donohue of Centerburg. He had been an area resident since 1992 and was a graduate of the Northwestern College for Diesel Technology in Lima, a trade that would take him far in life.

Sid first worked for Thomas Excavation and was currently an independent truck driver for the ContainerPort Group of Columbus.  Having a passion for the outdoors he enjoyed farming, mowing, and livestock. A John Deere man at heart he also took interest in helping his son’s 4-H group, Clover Connections.

The unofficial Mayor of Croton, there was not a place that he went where he didn’t know someone. His hobby was his family as well as building or fixing something.  He was also a horseman and a barrel rider in his youth.  A loving and devoted husband and father, together they recently finished building a new home. One in which he did much of the work. A steadfast provider he treasured time spent with his family. Although much too soon, his willingness to lend a helping hand will forever be his legacy.

In addition to his parents he leaves his soul mate wife Lisa (Achbach), son Brayden, siblings Koby Donohue (Jason Clapham) of Centerburg, Molly (Nick) Rittereck of Ft. Mitchell, Alabama, nieces and nephews: Chesney, Abby, Ryley, Bailey, Nash, Wyatt, parents-in-law Daniel and Barbara Achbach of Johnstown, sister-in-law Tara (Brian) Bradley, and numerous loving friends, especially Eddie Fairall.

Friends may call from 4:00-8:00 p.m. Wednesday at the DeVore-Snyder Funeral Home, SR’s 3 at 61, Sunbury. Dress casual just as you would be with Sid, jeans and flannel shirts are fine.  An event for the celebration of Sid’s life will be held this coming summer.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be made to the Brayden Donohue Trust Fund, P.O. Box 238, Sunbury, OH 43074.

Condolences may be expressed at

  • I am so saddened to hear of Sid’s passing. He was such a sweet, caring and helpful guy. Back in the day when he barrel raced, he was all of us girl’s best friend. It was always a nice surprise when he would stop in to visit at the barn. He stopped by the dealership just a few weeks ago and had a nice visit with the guys. We’ll miss your smile, Sid. R.I.P. and prayers for your family.

  • I am deeply saddened by this news. Sid always wore a HUGE smile and did not know a stranger. So many great memories of horse show days. Sid will always be fondly remembered…May God wrap you all in his comfort and protection as you endure the days, weeks and months ahead… keeping your entire family in our prayers….

  • I am so very sorry for your loss. May the lord place his hand upon family and friends.
    Chris Sherbourne and Family

  • There are no words to describe how much we will miss you, Sid. You were an amazing person, great friend, hard worker and always had a smile on your face. The world has lost a wonderful person, but heaven has gained an incredible Angel. I look forward to seeing you again, friend.

  • Lisa & Brayden’,
    I’m so sorry your world is being turned upside down. I know how happy your life has become with Sid & Brayden in it. I have not ever seen you so content & in Love with Sid & Brayden. Sid will be missed by all that knew him. My prayers go out to you Brayden & family.
    Love , Rosie

  • I was lucky enough to babysit the Donohue kids (Sid, Koby and Molly) and have enjoyed watching what wonderful adults they have become. My heart is very saddened by this news. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.

  • Dave and family…we are so sorry for your loss…There are absolutely no words. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Lisa and Family,

    We were so saddened to hear of the news of Sid’s accident. Please accept our Deepest Condolences. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your Family.

  • Lisa, Tara, Dan, BJ,
    I’m very sorry about the passing of your husband, brother-in-law, and son-in-law. I found out about the tragic accident from an article in the January 25 Columbus Dispatch. Though I never had the privilege of meeting Sid, I know he must have been an incredible person. It’s so sad that he was taken from this world way too soon. My heart goes out to all of you, and I wish you all peace and comfort.
    With deepest sympathy, Leah Kumpinsky

  • I am saddened to hear this news and my heart is heavy. I remember Sid as a little boy hanging out and playing while his mother coached so many of us in gymnastics and cheerleading. Praying for comfort and peace for the entire family.

  • My heart aches for the whole family over Sid’s passing. He was such a wonderful guy who always had a smile and a laugh. He used to show horses with alot of us years ago and he had bought a horse from me that he took such excellent care of. He always had such compassion for people and animals. RIP Sid. we will forever miss you but never forget you.

  • Here in New York, Sid made a huge impact on our farm. He was so young and willing. If you told him he couldn’t, he would anyway. He just wanted to help. His squinty eyes never let you know everything he was thinking. Thank the Lord. As tragedies happen, we finally come to the place that says we were fortunate to have him for 4o years. Yes it was short. Brayden my heart knows you will suffer for the loss of your DAd. Lisa, it is extremely difficult to loose a husband in an accident. Don’t beat yourself up. For DAve and Ellie, Koby and Molly, remember he is well now. He is in a good place and at peace. I know he is grateful he had the family he had. We will all miss him. Know you are not alone in this loss.

  • It is with great sadness that I read of Sid’s death. Molly and Koby, you may remember me as Mrs. Johnson at North Tama Schools, in Traer, IA, where I had the wonderful pleasure of teaching all 3 of you kids. I have great memories of all 3 of you. I had lost track of you as you grew up, but it comes as no surprise when I read how wonderful of a person Sid had become. Molly and Koby, I am sure your lives are equally outstanding. My thoughts and prayers are with Lisa and Braydon as you struggle to find sense with this terrible loss. May God give you strength and peace through beautiful memories of such an exceptional person, such as Sid was.
    With heartfelt love,
    Mrs. J

  • We were saddened to hear of the accident on Saturday that took a young man too early in his life. He was one of the best friends of our son Wayne Scott and will be missed but never forgotten. We read the obituary and what a beautiful write up of his life. We couldn’t have said it better. Thoughts & Prayers to all of you!

    Terry & Pam

  • What a great friend and terrible loss this is. Sid would always lend me a hand when I needed help with semi brakes or a clutch. I still cannot believe it happened and still think I will get a text from him this week to see what I am up to. Im sure he is up in heaven now trying to fix something. The world sure does need more guys like Sid in it. RIP Sid, you will be missed buddy.

    Tim Kain

  • My thoughts and prayers go out to Lisa & Brayden. I remember when Brayden would be so excited when Sid used to pick him up from daycare in the “big truck”. So sad his life was taken so early.

  • I am so sorry to hear about Sid! My prayers are with his family at this hard time. I have heard so many wonderful stories about him and how he was always there to lend a hand or an ear… God must have needed his helping hand in heaven.

  • I was truly shocked when I heard about Sid’s accident. I remember Sid as a joker who always made you laugh. Even though I have not spoke to Sid in awhile, he will truly be missed.

  • Dave and family,
    I was shocked and deeply saddened by the news….I pray that God and great memories will provide comfort for you all! If God brings to it….he will bring you through it. You will be in our thoughts and prayers! Matt, Miranda, Jordan, Tyson, Tucker, and Brooklynn McElroy

  • Condolences to the entire Donohue family. I worked with Sid’s father, Dave at John Deere. Sending prayers for you and your wife, Dave, during the very difficult time. You’re in my thoughts.

  • Ellie and Family,
    I am so saddened to hear about Sid’s passing. It’s been years since I’ve seen you all but I remember him as a very kind and funny soul. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you all.

    Much love,

  • Lisa ,

    I am so sorry for your loss, You have been on my mind today and I wanted you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers, if you need anything just to talk your a shoulder. I am a phone call away.


  • So sorry to hear about this accident. I rode the school bus with Sid and Molly at north tama. Years later I ran into Sid at national FFA convention in Kansas City. Though we are miles apart I share your pain and send my sincere condolences. Thinking of you all!!
    RIP Sid from the North Tama community.

  • Ellie & Family, I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m praying that God comforts you & your family during this time of sorrow. God bless & keep you.
    Jeri Dean

  • Our sympathy to your family. Sid was still a little boy when he left Traer, but I still remember his smile and sparkling eyes. Ellie and I played tennis together. Never easy to lose a child at any age, so sorry and send our prayers and sympathy.

  • My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Donohue family as well as friends of Sid. I only met him a handful of times. He was always smiling and very cordial and will be greatly missed.

  • We remember Sid at the Croton horse shows. He always had a smile and an ornery word or two for ya. We will miss him & know that the Donahue family is in our prayers.

  • Dave & Family

    We learned of your son’s passing this evening and wish to express to you our most sincere condolences. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you in the days that follow.

  • My heart aches for all of you. Such a hard working caring man taken way to soon from his earthly home. I pray you all find peace in all the beautiful memories and know that someday you will meet again, With love and prayers. Joanna

  • I’m very sorry to hear of Sid’s passing. I hadn’t seen him since junior high or so, maybe the first year of high school, whenever his family moved away. We were pretty good friends when we were little, he come over to my house for sleepovers and vice versa. We were an International Harvester family, so Sid always had to defend John Deere. I hadn’t seen him in years, but I’ll always remember him as a fun loving guy who would help anyone with anything.

  • sid was one of those Guys that you could always count on to be there when the chips were down.over the years I grew to be very honored and grateful to be one of his many friends I will miss him greatly

  • My sincere sympathies go out to Sid’s family and friends. I knew and babysat all three Donohue’s. I remember Sid’s love for John Deere and the outdoors. God bless you all during this difficult time.

  • My sincere sympathies go out to Sid’s family and friends. I knew and babysat all three Donohue’s. I remember Sid’s love for John Deere and the outdoors. God bless you all during this difficult time.

  • Karen and I wish to express our sadness upon hearing of Sid’s accident. Sid truly was one of a kind, but all of you know that. We are all blessed by knowing Sid, and I know I learned many things from him. Our prayers are not enough, nor my words. We are very sorry and I hope GOD’s hands work swiftly to calm the waters for each of you. Mark

  • Dear Ellie & David,

    I hurt for you and your family, as you grieve the loss of your beloved son, Sid. I cannot imagine what you must be feeling at this time. No words that I could possibly say, could even come close to easing the pain that his tragic death must be causing you, your daughters and Sid’s wife and son. Just know that you have an even larger family (through JOGS and the Northmor Schools) that are thinking of & praying for you and will do whatever we possibly do to help you through this most difficult time in your lives.

    With the utmost Love & sincerity,


  • I am in complete shock, I had only known Sid as a customer but have known Lisa for years as a customer as well I am so sorry for your loss, you will be in my thoughts and prayers sending my deepest condolences again I am sorry.

  • I want to send out a special prayer to my best friend Lisa. You and Sid have been a special part of our lives and we are deeply saddened by this tragic loss. He will forever be in our hearts and memories. May the Lord give you strength to endure the road ahead. We love you with all our heart.

  • Sid was special part of our lives. He was Gary’s first friend when he moved to Sunbury. He brought so many happy moments in our life and left us with a treasure trove of memories. We will never be able to forget him. Rest in peace my good friend you will be missed.

  • We are so very sorry to hear of the tragic accident that took the life of such a great young man. We will always remember his special sense of humor and the smile he always had. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. If we can help in any way, please let us know. Sid will be greatly missed by all! Gordon, Linda Houck and family

  • I’m sorry to hear the loss of Sid. It has been many years since I last seen him but he was always willing to help anyone who needed it. He would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it. May his smiling face and laughter live on through your hearts. He always had a friendly smile and laugh. Prayers to y’all.
    R.I.P. friend.
    Ryan and Ardena (Boyd) Dailey

  • I was so sad to hear about the loss of Sid. It’s been many years since I seen him but he was always willing to give a helping hand to anyone who needed it. He would give you the shirt of his back if you needed it. May his smiling face and laughter live on in your hearts. He always had a smile on his face and he could make you laugh even when you really didn’t feel like it. Prayers to y’all.
    R.I.P. friend
    Ryan & Ardena (Boyd) Dailey

  • Lisa, Brayden and Family,
    I am saddened by the Loss of such a great Neighbor & Friend. My heart and Prayers are with you Lisa and Brayden as well as to Sids Parents and Siblings. Our community has lost an Incredible Person!

  • To Sid’s whole family, I extend my deepest sympathy and prayers. God bless you all in this time of mourning a loved one taken so early in life.

  • Words are so very hard to compose for comfort when you have learned your John Deere Family is suffering a loss. I worked with Dave and Molly at John Deere in Columbus, and had the “It’s a small world” experience when I met Sid at a Croton horse show and said I know some Donohue’s, Dave and Molly, he smiled so huge and said, That’s my Dad and Sister. His legacy will live on through all the stories that will be shared of his huge heart, comforting smile, and helping hand. Your in my heart, thoughts, and prayers. Sherri

  • I’m so very sorry to hear about the accident that took the life of such a great person. I will always remember his special sense of humor at the horseshows, in 4H, and when he baled my hay…many years ago. Your family will be in my prayers.

  • Our family is absolutely heartbroken. Sid, as well as the rest of the Donahue family, touched our lives in such a wonderful way over the years. He will be deeply missed. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Dave, Ellie, Koby, Molly, Lisa and Brayden,
    There are no words….this has truly broken my heart. But there are many great memories. Coach D, when this little boy came into our lives, it was the greatest blessing ever. I babysat for him from the day he was born and he was my bestest buddy. I cherish the memories of him following me around on the basketball court, and being there to change my channels when I broke my leg. He stayed with us that week while Koby was born, and the memories you can make in one week are endless. Putting the star on top of the tree and telling us all “isn’t it so beautiful”. his little padded feet in his footie pajamas hitting the hardwood floor was all I ever needed to hear to know the day would be perfect. He would say “dudie” do you need anything and I would say “yes, a hug” and he always had one. I would tell him to grab my finger way up in the air (and he would) and I would tickle him, and he fell for it every time….maybe just to make me laugh. He loved the picture we had of Jesus hanging above the kitchen table and called him ELMER FUDD. He would sit in the middle of the kitchen floor and play with his John Deere tractors for hours and hours. He and the girls were ring bearer and flower girls in my wedding. He was our families EVERYTHING. And above all he was my little fruitman…”I not a fruitman dudie”, he would say, and then we would both laugh….and he was always my fruitman….even last year when we talked on the phone…he was ok with it….so little fruitman, my buddy, RIP and watch over all of us…just like you always have….GODSPEED, Your Dudie

  • Dave, we were shocked to hear of your terrible loss on Saturday. Our deepest sympathies are with you and your family. Dave, we have learned a lot from you over the years and became great friends. We know how much your family means to you, and nothing is harder than losing a child, no matter what age. You and your family will be in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Sid- I got the word you had passed Saturday night. It is such a shame I haven’t seen you since High School back in Skaneateles, NY. Now that opportunity is lost. Much respect to your family. You were a great person I still remember how awesome it was of you to show up at our High School graduation even though you had moved away a year earlier. Sleep well my friend. Godspeed- Matt Evans –

  • Ellie and family –

    Your OSF Rabbit family is keeping you in prayers. As a child who had a father that passed in a tractor accident you have to say he was doing what he loved. That doesn’t make the time and healing any easier for family and friends but I believe we all have a larger purpose in life and have to know that we are in God’s hands and only he knows the reason why? You are in our thoughts always.

  • We just learned of your son’s passing and wish to express to you our most sincere condolences. Being so proud of your son must make this the most trying days of your life. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you in the coming days. Your fiends always!

  • Very sad to hear of Sid’s passing. Sid was a classmate of mine at North Tama and always a good friend. About the time Sid and his family moved away was around the time our favorite movie (at the time) come and that was Beverly Hills Cop came out. We used to joke about the line “Get thrown out of a moving car, whats the called Jaywalking? ” we used to tell each hey you are jaywalking when walking up and down the halls at school. We Sid don’t you get caught jaywalking walking up there my friend.

    Thoughts, prayers, and deepest sympathies to Sid’s family! He was truly one of a kind!

  • Dear Mrs. D, I’m so very sorry to hear about your loss, just know that we all have you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.

  • To Dave and Family,
    Just to let you know you are all in my thoughts and prayers.

    Joan Shelton, Marion, OH

  • Dearest Lisa, Brayden, Ellie, Dave and girls: I have thought and thought of what I should or could say about Sid. I guess really there are no words that will comfort right now. We loved Sid as if he was one of our children. I was looking at our wedding pictures yesterday and there is Sid and Wayne in their white shirts and their lapel roses pinned on them waiting to do their part in the wedding. Sid had this ornery grin (you know the one) that made me wonder what is that boy going to do to Steve? I will try to keep that smile in my head even as our hearts break for all of you. Brayden you were your fathers pride and joy and he loved doing everything with you. Lisa, you two were meant to be, when you said yes to his proposal of marriage he was so crazy happy and he carried that throughout his time here with you. We will never forget your wedding and how beautiful you two were together. Ellie, Dave and girls our hearts break for you. He will be so missed everyday. We will not let his memory be forgotten. Our love and deepest sympathy to all of you. We will be praying for comfort for the entire family.

  • Dave, Ellie, and the Donohue family,

    Renee and I are so deeply saddened by the news of Sid’s passing. The countless stories you told about Sid always ended with a laugh and a “That’s Sid”. Please know you all are in our thoughts and prayers.

    Our deepest sympathies.

  • Dave and Family
    So sorry to hear of your loss of your son. Your thoughts and prayers are
    with your family. May God guide you through the tough days ahead
    Carolyn Gibson
    John Deere

  • Lisa, Brayden, Mr, and Mrs, Donohue , Koby , Mollie, Dan, Babs, Tara , Brian,

    We want you to know how deeply sorry we are for your loss of Such a Great Guy. What a legacy he leaves. It has been so meaninful to read the
    Obituaty and wonderful testimonials from friends and family.

    Our thoughts and Prayers are with you. We are always here for you.
    Janet and Warren

  • My thoughts and prayers to all Sids family and friends . We have lost one of the good ones he has only been a neighbor for a short time but he always stopped by and was there to lend a hand .I will always remember his smiling face , a man that could do anything .If there is anything I can do to help out at anytime I’m just down the road or a phone call away ! I’m thankful for knowing him . God bless you . Rest In Peacetime my friend!

  • I’m sorry for your loss Mrs. Donohue. Things like this are never easy, but we know you can make it through alright.

  • My thoughts and prayers to Sid’s entire family, I extend my deepest sympathy. I worked with Dave at John Deere and can not imagine the kind of grief the family must be going through. God bless you in this time of mourning a hero taken way too early in life.

  • DD and family. As your friend and part of your John Deere Family I wish I could personally hug you all to convey sorrow for your loss. May God love and keep your son as He does His own. I never got to meet Sid,but from what I hear and have read, the next time I see the sun break through the clouds I’m going to have to thank God and say, “there’s Sid”!

  • Dear family,
    I am so saddened by your loss. I remember Sid from some of my first days at what was then known as the Delaware Joint Vocational School. Jeff Lucas (instructor of what is now the Power Sports and Diesel Technology lab) told me today of Sid’s untimely passing. He was a fine young man. Please give my condolences to his family and friends.

  • I am so sorry to hear about your loss. We are friends from the Clover Connections 4H club. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Dave and Ellie, It’s been a very long time since we saw you and your kids, but we were terribly shocked and saddened to hear about Sid’s passing. Hard to believe he was forty (Heather, too). I so wish there were words to help your pain, but we’ll have to leave that to God. Our prayers are with the whole family.

  • Dave, Ellie and family – We are very shocked and saddened to hear of Sid’s passing. Dave, I remember in more than a few of our libation-fueled “after-work” conversations, you describing Sid as someone who could fix just about darn near anything and just somehow make things work. You always seemed to be very proud of him, and from the comments I’ve read, he was just a great guy that was fun to be around with a whole lot of heart!

    Please know that you are all in our thoughts and prayers. Take good care.

  • Mary and I are so deeply saddened by the news of Dave’s son Sid. I never had the opportunity to meet Sid but worked with his dad at John Deere.

    Our deepest Sympathies.

  • I am so sorry for your loss of your son, brother, husband and Daddy.
    Sid was one of the most lovable guy’s I’ve ever known. So dependable on a moments notice whatever the reason or time. So many times we at Thomas Excavating wished we could have cloned him!
    Rest in peace Sid. We love you
    Michele and Mark Thomas

  • Donahue family!
    There are no words at all to tell you how sorry we were to hear of
    Sid’s accident. Didn’t know him well but he was always joking and
    smiling when I(Sheila and Allen)saw him. Please know that if there
    is anything the Mann’s can do for you not to hesitate to call.
    You are ALL in our thoughts and prayers!

  • Hi Ellie,
    I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your son. I am praying for you, your husband and family for God to give you strength when you need it, peace when you need it and surround you with his love.

    Debbi (DACC – Admin. Assistant)

  • Sending love, thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
    May Sid’s memory be a blessing to the whole family.

  • Condolences to the entire Donohue family. I worked with Sid’s father, Dave at John Deere. Sending prayers for you and your wife, Dave, during the very difficult time. You’re in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Dave and Family,
    I am truly saddened to hear of the loss of your son and will pray for all of you during this difficult time. May you find some strenght as you pass through this not alone , but with the love of all of those around you.
    Jane Donahue
    Cleveland, Ohio

  • Words can’t express how sorry I and many of Sid’s former childhood classmates from the North Tama Class of 1993 feel for his entire family during this difficult time. This week has been bittersweet as we learned of Sid’s passing and began sharing stories and photos on Facebook. We were a small class of 45, and even those who had moved away have stayed in our memories during class reunions, at any random moment over the years or have had an opportunity to reunite online. I’m sad that we didn’t have the opportunity to rekindle a friendship with Sid over recent years through email or Facebook. Please know that many had asked if others knew where he was, if one of us had heard from him or tracked him down online.

    I’ll always remember Sid as one of the nicest classmates. The small group of us that rode the kindergarten bus, which was driven by either of my parents on a daily basis, would be singing Christmas carols in April or May or telling one another that we’d somehow make it up that icy hill to the next persons house while going home for the day on a winter’s afternoon. I also remember sitting in Mr. Hamilton’s history class in junior high and Sid being given a hard time by Mr. Hamilton. Sid just sat there with a grin on his face and gave it right back. As many have said, his smile and laugh were hard to forget.

    As you know, your son, brother, husband, father made a huge impact on so many lives. He’s never been forgotten as he moved away from one small town to the next, but his smile and laugh will be missed for years to come. My deepest condolences for your loss.

    The Benediction
    The Lord bless thee and keep thee
    The Lord make His face shine up-on thee
    And be gra-cious un-to thee
    The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee
    And give thee peace, and give thee peace

  • Ellie & Family:
    I’m so very sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  • Dave and Ellie, Our hearts were broken when we heard about your son. It is the very hardest and most unspeakable pain to have. Our prayers and love to you and your family forever until you see him again. God Bless You all and God Bless Sid Donahue.
    Love and Prayers,
    Chris and Chris Stevens

  • Dear Dave and Ellie,

    We are so sorry to hear of Sid’s passing, you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

    God Bless,
    Bob and Pat Elling

  • Dave and Family,
    Very sorry to hear of your loss.
    Please accept our sincere condolences.

    Gary & Peggy Frazier

  • (I am a friend of Eddie Fairall)

    While I did not know you personally, Sydney,
    I do know of your kind, a Farmer.
    Your helping hands nicked and callused,
    Conducting a most under appreciated callings.
    Laboring from sun up to sun down, rain or shine.
    In the biting Winter winds or the blistering Summer sun.
    A Farmers work is never, ever done.
    I hold you profession in the highest esteem.
    Thank you for that.

  • Just found out about Sid today and I am so sorry. Sid always had a huge smile and I have talked about him often as being a great guy. Sid was the first guy that showed me how to plum a house and we always had fun working together. Sid will be sorely missed