Joseph Martin McDonagh

July 13, 1933 ~ September 3, 2020 (age 87)


Joseph Martin McDonagh, 87, was peacefully called home on Thursday, September 3, 2020.   A man known by many names Dad, Pop Pop, Joe, Jofa, Mac, and Uncle Bucky.

Born on July 13, 1933 to Thomas Patrick McDonagh and Olivia Wills in La Plata, Maryland.  He is preceded by his parents, 6 siblings, Carol Jean Milkowski and Louise Pinckney Green. He is survived by Emily Dobbins. He is also survived by his 5 children - Kevin Anthony, Michael Patrick, Anna Marie, William Joseph, and Mary Frances Peterson, 8 grandchildren, and 6 great grandchildren as well as Louise’s family of 4 children, 11 grandchildren, and 7 great grandchildren and Emily’s 2 children and grandchildren, all who loved him dearly.

He graduated from Mount St. Joseph High School in Baltimore and was a Korean War veteran in the Air Force. He earned his Bachelor of Science from University of Maryland in Physical Education and a Minor in Safety. A lifetime member of the LaPlata VFD, Joe worked at the Maryland Fire Rescue Institute and the South Carolina Fire Academy.  He enjoyed volunteering at the South Carolina Historical Aviation Foundation and spent the last years of his life Ballroom Dancing with his dance partner extraordinaire, Emily.

He meant so much to so many. He was a kind, generous man with a zest for life and a great sense of humor.  He was always up for an adventure including skydiving at the age of 83. Whether it was “Pie in the Face” or “Cards Against Humanity”, he loved to laugh and always enjoyed his time with family and friends.

Donations in his name can be made to the following organizations: 

1]      South Carolina Historic Aviation Foundation

3100 Devine Street

Columbia, SC 29205

or at

2]      LaPlata Volunteer Fire Department

PO Box 728

LaPlata, MD  20646

Plans for internment at St. Ignatius, Port Tobacco, MD and Celebrations of his Life are yet to be determined.

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