John Albert Donato

January 10, 1948 ~ November 14, 2023 (age 75) 75 Years Old


John Albert Donato, 75, of Westerly, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by the love of his family on Tuesday, November 14, 2023. He was the loving husband of Jeanne Margot (Mahaffey) Donato. Born in West Hickory, PA on January 10, 1948, he was the son of the late Anthony and Wilma (Robbins) Donato-Rasimowicz.

For 38 years, John was a dedicated High School Math teacher for the Westerly school system. He received his Bachelor of Science in Math for Secondary Education from Clarion College in Clarion, PA and a Masters of Education from Rhode Island College, RI. In his retirement, John still loved to teach part time at the Community College of Rhode Island, RI and Three Rivers Community College, CT. When he was not teaching, he would be creating amazing balloon designs for the family business, Joy-O-Loons, in which he was a Certified Master Balloon Artist. Due to his talent and spirit of giving, each year you would find him volunteering for the Westerly Summer Pops, helping organize the holiday characters for Santa’s Arrival to town, and setting up the flags in Westerly as part of the American Flag fund. John was a member of the Knights of Columbus Narragansett Council #21. John was a hard worker and knew how to live life. He enjoyed vacations to warm destinations like Hawaii and St. Maarten, he loved following the stock market, doing crosswords while drinking a coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts, daily walks around down town, he was a Communicant for Our Lady of Victory Church, a Marriage Encounter team couple, he enjoyed attending rosary at St. Pius X church and he was an avid JEEP Wrangler enthusiast and owner. Most importantly, John was centered on God, helping others, and loved spending time with his family.

Besides his wife Jeanne, John is survived by his three children, John Paul Donato and wife Danielle of Westerly, Katie (Donato) and husband Josh Shortman of Pawcatuck, CT and Jeannie (Donato) and husband Bob Greco of Coventry, RI; nine grandchildren, Jacob, Luke, Abbey, Jackson, Wes, Sawyer, Caroline, Courtney and Hunter; his brother Michael Donato of Hawthorn, PA; nephew and niece, Houston and Giulia Donato. In addition to his parents, John was predeceased by nephew Earth Donato.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in John’s name to the establishment for a scholarship which will be awarded to a Westerly High School Senior who will pursue a Teacher of Mathematics degree.

Calling hours will be held from 2:00pm – 5:00pm on Sunday, November 26, 2023, at the Buckler-Johnston Funeral Home, 121 Main St., Westerly, RI 02891. A Christian Mass will be celebrated at St. Pius X Church, 44 Elm St. Westerly at 10am on Thursday, November 30th. All other services will be held privately at the convenience of the family.


November 26, 2023

2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Buckler-Johnston Funeral Home
121 Main St.
Westerly, RI 02891

November 30, 2023

10:00 AM
St. Pius X Church
45 Elm St.
Westerly, RI 02891


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