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Christopher Noel McDonagh

June 6, 2018 03:46 pm

EAST DURHAM - Christopher Noel McDonagh, 80, passed away on Monday June 4, 2018. He was born January 6th, 1938 in Knockmore Co. Mayo in Ireland to John and Mabel McDonagh. He was the 10th of 11 children. He immigrated to the United States in the early 1960’s, where he met the love of his life, Lena Hagan from Fintona, Co Tyrone, in the City Center Ballroom in NYC. They just celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary on May 1st. They raised 3 daughters, Arlene, Debbie, and Collette and loved 7 grandchildren: Amanda, Shannon, Eamonn, Caitlin, Aidan, Christy, and Devon.

Throughout his 80 years, he served in the United States Army, where he protected the first African American to attend an integrated college. He was a member of the American Legion. He worked on the Alaskan pipeline, was a Good Humor man, drove for UPS, and retired from the NYC Carpenters Union, Local 608, after a 25+ year career. His favorite places were the Catskill Mountains of NY, and on the ocean in Madeira Beach, FL.

Although he held many roles in his lifetime, his proudest were husband, father, and grandfather. And he was amazing at these roles, especially being a Papa. He was so patient and fun with his grandchildren, and has bestowed much knowledge on each of them. And he was a great fixer of all things broken. The love he shared and the attention he gave to all of us will live on in each of us.

Chris suffered terribly for nearly 10 years with pulmonary fibrosis, COPD, and emphysema. We’d like to thank his team at the Albany VA hospital, and Dr. Douglas Schwartz, who took the best care of him always, and eased his mind right through to his very last breath. He fought a long, hard battle and he is finally at peace. We will miss him terribly, but we know that he is looking over us until we meet again.

Chris is survived by his wife Lena, his daughters Arlene, Debbie, and Collette, his 7 grandchildren, his son-in-law Eamonn, his 3 remaining siblings, Monica, Sean, and Mary, along with his numerous in-laws, nieces and nephews.

Calling hours will be held on Friday June 8th from 4 to 8pm at the A.J. Cunningham Funeral Home, 4898 State Route 81, Greenville. A Funeral Mass will be held on Saturday June 9th at 9am at Our Lady of Knock Shrine, 2052 State Route 145, East Durham, followed by burial in Winston Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, we ask that you send a donation in Christopher McDonagh’s name to either the Stratton VA Medical Center: General Purpose, Tax Code: GPF 1337, 113 Holland Ave, Albany, NY 12208, which provides Rehab, Equipment & Other Veteran Needs not covered by VA Budget Funds; or to the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, 230 East Ohio St., Suite 500, Chicago, IL 60611. Condolences can be posted at