Richard J. Donley, age 74 of Paris, passed away Saturday, October 17, 2015 at his home. He was born July 18, 1941 on the family farm in Paris, the son of Merlin and Marie (Hurst) Donley. Richard graduated from Big Rapids High School in 1959. He then started his career working in the oil fields. Richard retired from MichCon in 1998 and continued as a consultant for fourteen more years.
He married Joyce Tonkin on February 20, 1960 in Big Rapids and together they raised their family in Paris. At the age of 50, Richard and Joyce bought their first horse and began harness horse training and racing. He also enjoyed fishing and ice fishing.
Richard is survived by his wife of 55 years, Joyce Donley of Paris; five children, Gerald (Rhonda) Donley of Paris, Diane (David) Stockwell of White Cloud, Carole (Joey) Hirl of Big Rapids, Phyllis (Donnie) Blake of Fife Lake and Jason (Misty) Donley of Big Rapids; 14 grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; sister, Virginia Kienitz of Big Rapids; brother, John “Jack” (Dixie) Donley of Reed City; several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law, Alton Kienitz.
A memorial service will take place 11:00 a.m. Friday, October 23, 2015 at the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids with Father Dan DePew officiating. The family will greet friends at 10:00 a.m. on Friday prior to the service at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Richard’s name may be made to Susan P. Wheatlake Cancer Center or Spectrum Health Hospice.
Share a memory or leave a condolence for the family at www.daggettgilbertfuneralhome.com