John A. Donahoo, Sr.

March 4, 1949 - February 4, 2022

Memorial Gifts & Donations

John Arthur Donahoo Sr. left his earthly bonds to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on February 4, 2022.

He was the second son of Ervon Gee and Felicia Grace (Tomasino) Donahoo who preceded him to Heaven along with his older brother William John (survived by Vicki). He is survived by two brothers Stephen John (Carolyn) and David John (Buffy). The brothers were Navy brats and loved telling stories of their time in the jungle of Panama (being chased by a wild boar), stealing a piñata at a kids birthday party (the planning they put into this! ) or holding two melons to their chest and walking behind the movie screen – OH MY – What a shadow-  and many other antics.

John was born April 4, 1949 in Gitmo Bay, Cuba. He attended St. Pius School until he was kicked off the bus for playing Jesus (after hearing the resurrection story). He then attended Azalea Middle and Norview High graduating in 1969.  Looking for adventure, John joined the Marine Corps. For some reason he loved jumping out of perfectly good airplanes.

John joined the Norfolk Police Department as an undercover Narcotics officer in March 1976. While undercover he met his future wife Pamela Sue Hoffman.  They enjoyed 45 years together. They have one daughter, Jessica Anne Novak (Shaun) and a daughter they “chose” Jade Haylee Carmichael (Kimberly).

John was also blessed with a son from his first marriage to Nell Buckelew Armstrong; John Arthur Donahoo Jr. (Abigail).

While a police officer John served in just about every division.  He gave 30 years to the City of Norfolk.  He enjoyed going to work every day with the hope of making our city a better place.

John also had a love for softball.  He began as an assistant coach for Krispy Kreme in 1989.  Then in 1993 he took over as coach for Jessica’s team the “Roosevelt Guardians”. In 1996 they won the title of 2nd in the state. They won 79 games straight. John also coached the team in Fall Ball as the “Lady Angels” and took them as a tournament team.  What a coach!  What a team!  What a plan Jesus had – now John is a “Guardian Angel”. He was so proud of these girls.

After retiring, John worked for the Sheriff’s Dept., Sentara and EVMS.

John leaves behind four grandchildren whom he loved dearly. James Novak (Duke), Tanner (Tanner-man), Joshua and Jane Donahoo. One great granddaughter Valerie Novak.  Also his nieces Felicia and Susan and nephews Stephen, Sean, Brandon and Jason.

A special thanks to At Heart Hospice and Homecare and to our friend and advocate Dianne Sexton.

John had a loving and giving heart so in lieu of flowers please do a random act of kindness and tell that person to pass it on.

Due to covid an online service will be held February 19th at 3:00pm in a Zoom format.

2 Timothy 4:7: I have fought the good fight.  I have finished the race.  I have kept the faith.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting

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John barkey
2 years ago

John and I grew up together in Roosevelt Gardens during the 6o’s our families were close. When my family moved to VA Beach in1966 we lost contact. My sincere condolences to his family and friends.

Volpe Boykin
2 years ago

He was a great guy and a great officer. Sadly not many of his caliber left.

Hugh Parker
2 years ago

John you will be missed high school and the police department we went back a few days. A great friend and co-worker thanks for all those days my friend.

Sidney Delepine
2 years ago

I worked with John many times on the NPD. He was a great guy and lots of fun to work with. It saddens me deeply that he was gone way too soon. When you enter heaven you can say “another Marine reporting sir, I have served my time…” SemperFi Marine, Officer, and brother.

Michael & Nancy Montgomery
2 years ago

Godspeed faithful servant. Peace to entire family at this time.

Linda Freeman
2 years ago

I can still hear Mrs. Butler asking you if she has a warrant. She would call you everyday. We use to have so much fun at the old 2nd Pct. RIP my friend till we meet again. Condolences to the family 💐💐

Thomassen Douglas
2 years ago

Rip my friend, Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers!

William Creekmore
2 years ago

Rest in eternal. Peace my N.P.D.. friend..
Semper fi, my brother..
Ride the npd harley in heaven.

Tommy Chrislip
2 years ago

I still remember the day i met John at the Piccadilly Restaurant. He had been assigned to me and JJ Monahan to serve as an undercover officer. So sorry to hear of his passing.

2 years ago


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