Passed On

October / November 2003

Robert S. Mullaney an aeronautical engineer who helped oversee the construction of the craft that landed Apollo astronauts on the moon, died at his home in Bellport, New York, on July 6. He was 82.

Mullaney was a former Navy pilot who had a hand in the development of fighter planes in the Grumman Corporation and became manager of the Lunar Excursion Module Program in 1962. It was tested in space in March 1969 on the Apollo 9 mission and made its historic landing four months later on the Apollo 11 mission.

Mullaney, who was born in the Irish suburb of Oak Park, Illinois, earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Notre Dame and a master’s from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is survived by four children and three grandchildren. His wife, Helen Marie, died in 1986 and his first child, Patricia Ann died in 1963.

–From The New York Times


Gary MacEoin, who wrote, edited and contributed to more than two dozen books on Latin American social conditions and the Roman Catholic Church, died on July 9, in Leesburg, Virginia. He was 94 and a resident of San Antonio.

MacEoin, who was born in County Sligo, and had studied for the priesthood before making his name as an author, served as an adjunct professor at Fordham’s and Fairleigh Dickinson and lectured at Columbia and other universities. Conversant in several languages, he held editorial positions at Spanish and Portuegese publications in new York and contributed to Time and Life, Reuters and other news agencies.

MacEoin’s wife, Josephine Delancey MacEoin, died in 1985. He is survived by a son, Donald, and a stepdaughter Kristina, three sisters, and three grandchildren.


Robert J. Donovan, the author of PT-109, died in St. Petersburg, Florida. He was 90. Donovan, a “shoe leather” reporter without a college education, became a Washington correspondent, best-selling author and presidential historian, best known for PT-109, his stirring account of John F. Kennedy’s war experience. In all Donovan wrote 14 books including Conflict and Crisis: The Presidency of Harry S. Truman, 1945-48.

Born in Buffalo, in 1912, Donovan could not afford college in the Depression years, but he got a job at The Courier-Express earning $6 a week as a copy boy. An editor at The New York Herald Tribune “tired of hiring Yale University graduates” gave him a break and a 26-year career with the Tribune followed.

His journalism career was interrupted by World War II when Donovan was drafted by the Army. In 1957 he became the Tribune’s Washington bureau chief and in 1963 as wooed by the Los Angeles Times, which was looking to strengthen its journalism coverage.

He is survived by Patricia and Peter, his children from his first marriage to Martha Fischer, who died in 1974, and by his second wife, Gerry Van Der Heuvel, whom he married in 1978, and his stepchildren, Claudia and Heidi.

–From The New York Times ♦

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