Donelly, Eric Paul

September 29, 2018

Eric Paul Donelly October 21, 1954 - August 13, 2018 Eric, a native to California, succumbed to his battle with metastatic prostate cancer on August 13th, 2018 in Burns, Oregon with his daughter Lavender and his granddaughter Deanna by his side. Eric had asked to travel and see family at a memorial for his Aunt in Grants Pass. He was relieved of his pain to be happily reunited with his mom and grandmother whom he missed dearly. Eric is survived by his brother William Michael Toft, his Daughters Sarah Beth McKee - husband Seth McKee, Lavender Peace Ritterbush - husband Edward Ritterbush, his son Robert Paul Cribbs-Donelly - wife Katie Bammer, his beautiful and loving grandchildren and great-granddaughters. Eric was a well-known woodworker, artist and an avid music enthusiast. He had dedicated his life to the deaf community when he met his deaf step-son as a baby. Eric became a sign language interpreter and is responsible for the establishment, program development and service provision for the first agency for job development for the deaf and blind in the Bay area and Northern California. He later became a strong advocate for the homeless, even having worked for our local Shelter for Aid for Friends until becoming ill. Eric lived his life on his terms and with little regret. He enjoyed travelling and at times anywhere that the road would lead him. He hitch-hiked the California coast, barefoot for the most part and camped on the beach at times in the sharp crevices of the rock faces and caves that line a lot of the coast. One of his favorite adventures was a visit at Christmas time to his mom and brother living in Guatemala. His daughter Lavender had donated most of her toys, so many that he was only able to pack a few personal items for the trip. The country had been in and out of war for many years. Eric took his luggage of toys into the village and passed them out to each of the children. Though Lavender was unable to go, she was told that the children took the toys home with the same bewilderment and excitement that she had hoped they would. Eric was always full of adventure, one of the scariest of adventures he would explain, was unexpectedly becoming the single father of a little girl in the 1970′s. Though Eric took great pride in his children and loved being a father more than anything in life he did so differently with each of his children and unfortunately never at same time which was one of the things he had wanted most. After his “spirited” daughter Lavender had settled down and planted roots in Idaho, he too moved to Idaho where he was then able to strengthen relationships. Eric was blessed in 1999 to meet his eldest daughter Sarah and complete his ever-growing family. She brought him 3 beautiful grandchildren and an energy the family had needed for a long time. He had a special light in his eye when speaking of his son Robert, who like him has the love of woodworking among his many talents. He enjoyed their sometimes lengthy conversations regarding life, family history and projects that each were working on. He adored his children for their many talents and took on the role of Grandpa with great pride and awe for the beautiful, loving and talented people they became. He spoke of being ecstatic that he had been blessed with enough years to become a Great-Grandpa or “Papa” and he enjoyed played almost daily with one or another of the “littles”. He considered himself a “rich” man for the beautiful family that will continue to live up to the only expectation that he had for us which was “To be happy… Regardless”. Eric ended a fight he fought like the rock star he was, with grace and dignity and doing what he loved, travelling, listening to music and being with family. Many of the worlds greatest were up there waiting for you to rock on, pain free. You finally got your “air tight alibi for your fool proof plan” dad. A memorial will be prepared and posted to his Facebook page for all who wish to view it. Opportunity to add your own sentiments will be encouraged. If you would like to send condolences or donate to the memorial fund you can do so using Facebook, the families address at P.O. Box 4247, Pocatello, Idaho 83205 or contact the family directly at 208-380-1158.

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