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Bert's Eulogy

Dad’s Eulogy                                                                      7/10/01

Who is Lambert Zender Donahoe?



Today we are gathered to honor a man we have come to know and love deeply.  What can anyone say to help us through this struggle of grief?

I hope with my words today, we can remember my father in all of his different roles.

I do know this-he would look at all of us today and want us to celebrate our time with him, with that; here is who we think L.Z.D. is.


His pride and joy were his cars

He had a 1990 Jaguar he would only drive to Lake Geneva for gas, as Illinois had alcohol in their gas. He wanted to be buried in the Jag, but that was not allowed.

He had an old keepsake box were he kept pictures of the Jag and his dog.

He loved his children and grand kids, was very proud of them all, like a man beating his chest.

His mother turned 100-he danced with her that day in the restaurant to the tune “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”

He loved photographing sunsets for practice so he could take the perfect one—now he can watch in eternity.

He took a vacation every year

His love for his father was always with him as he spoke of him often

Took lots of pictures, has documenting them all, thought he was Japanese with the camera around his neck all the time

His brothers loved him; he had many nieces and nephews who honored him



He loved to tell jokes, here is an example: There were two hunters out in the forest, one Italian and one Irish, they stumbled upon a beautiful redhead with long flowing hair, so the Italian said:”Are you game?” She said, “yes”, so the Irishman shot her.



He always had good advice, he advised my husband John after we got engaged: “To always shut up, and bring the check book. He also told him to always say: “yes dear”—That’s why I married him.  He is just like my dad. Even little Matt has his qualities of being fidgety and he also has his perseverance.

The most important lesson he taught us was to honor our name and reputation.

He taught us what he learned in the service “Can do”, did not believe in “I can’t”

He woke up one day and “fell in love” with his family, his friends could hit the dust now.


He had many hobbies

Playing pool was one of his favorites, it was always under his house rules, can still here him say today:” “rack em!”

Loved his trees and flowers, got all over us for poor lawn care.

He used to fly a remote control airplane in the yard

He loved to save batteries, thousands of them. What’s up with that?

He loved his trains, which he collected for many years it would take him weeks to set them up every Christmas.

He enjoyed his golden years with lots of travel to Hawaii, Alaska, Panama Canal, Florida, Canada, Texas and many other places.  He was always looking for that perfect sunset and a good prime rib beef dinner.

He was a weather nut, kept track of rainfall, cold, first frost, snow, wind, and always   called Brian to validate his readings with him.

Lately he started to enjoy his flight simulator games on the computer, and would play pilot for hours and fly missions all over the world with all kinds of planes


Work career

He had a business where he did boat tours in Chicago before marrying.  Had a lot of fun doing that.

He never talked about work or his military record, but liked it when we saluted him.



Was trying to teach John, Brian and Pat how to whistle

He liked swimming in Brian’s pool, and jumping off the diving board with a big splash.

Loved playing shuffle board with Pat in Florida

Loved playing Bocce ball with anyone.

He used to play football and basketball with all the neighborhood kids.  He let me play till I started to develop.  He was still playing basketball with Pat when he was sixty, so as not to deny him the special time.

He was the ultimate family man

He bought a place in Florida; so we would all have a place to go to as a family

He always wanted to be with his family

As the story goes, after I was born he hurried my Mom to get to the beach, as soon as he got there in his haste he forgot to put his bathing suite on, as he dropped his pants, there he stood in his underwear.

He had a competitive personality, always wanted to win at everything and usually did

He loved the song “Oh Danny Boy”, it reminded him of himself

Loved to scare the grand kids

He dated everything with his name

He was a good teacher; he loved to explain what he knew

Loved his red velvet vest at Christmas

Loved music especially big band music and Patrick’s band

Loved routine in his life for example: On Sundays he would cook his own noodles, Monday and Tuesday whatever Mom cooked, Wednesday had popcorn at the show and Spaghetti at Portellos, Thursday he would get a BLT at Subway, Friday Walker Brothers for pan cakes, Saturday Church and to The Liberty for dinner


Center of his Universe

Liz was the center of his universe; he would have special jewelry made for her.  Would

always show it to me first, which than also became my secret.

He loved her unconditionally, totally depended on her, trusted her completely, and was proud to be with her. We could never mess with the schedule he set up for Mom and himself.

God put our father here many years ago and he touched many lives in the most loving way.  But if you want a unique glimpse of him, just look at Brian and Patrick.  They each received all of our Dad’s traits and personality.

                        Fortunately I got my Dad’s temper.  Brian and Patrick honor him in the way they live their lives, respect and love family, and honor the Donahoe name.  He was very proud of the men they turned into.  Loving, family oriented intelligent, independent, feisty, and gregarious.  He always spoke about Mom with such awe.


So if you look at our father’s life in aggregate- 75 years or 27,300 days.  For the 27,300 days he lived his life to the fullest.  Well, with the exception of my 4 years in high school- so we need to subtract, make it 25,844 days –Since I took those four years from his life.  He spent 32 days from his life between heaven and earth.  He was a lucky man!


Since his family was most important to him, during the last 32 days he was surrounded by them, as his time came near, we were holding his hands and he was looking at the center of his universe- our mother, we recited the Our Father a few times, and our mother whispered to him that it was okay to go to heaven.  A few breaths later, he took one last breath and went to heaven peacefully.  It was 8:50 on Friday morning, July 6th 2001; he was now at peace after his 32-day struggle. My clock stopped at exactly 8:50 that day when I came home.

So, in the end, his center of the universe, our Mom, was the last image he saw, she than gently closed his eyes and we prayed again.  So, Mom thanks for giving this man your tender loving care over the last 38 years.  His love for you was seen in those last moments, as he trusted you enough to know when to go to heaven

Dad would not have wanted it any other way I could only hope that I can show as much love for John as Dad did for you Mom in the end this love for you was something, that dreams are made of.  He will always be your lamb chop.


So who is Lambert Zender Donahoe?


He is Bridget