Katharine Donahue Whamond, an extraordinary individual and dedicated volunteer, died on June 20, 2020. She was 77.
Born in Bronxville, N.Y. in 1943, Karan, as she was known, grew up and lived most of her life in Rye. As the eldest of Frank and Kay Donahue’s eight children, she was a second mother to her younger siblings.
After graduating from Convent of the Sacred Heart in Greenwich, she earned an Associates Degree at Duchesne College before starting work as a fourth-grade teacher at Resurrection Grammar School in Rye at the age of 19.
Not long after, she began volunteering at a local golf tournament commonly known as the Westchester Classic. For the next 50-plus years, every volunteer at this event and most of the PGA tour professionals witnessed her innate organizational and management skills as the Tournament Director, overseeing hundreds of volunteers. The National PGA presented Karan Whamond with the PGA’s Volunteer of the Year Award in 2016.
You’d be mistaken if you thought Karan loved playing golf. “She never played a round in her life,” said her family. “Her passion for volunteering stemmed from the great local causes that benefitted from the golf tournament’s proceeds, most notably United Hospital in Port Chester.” Never one to sit on the sidelines, her direct volunteer efforts at United culminated in her serving nearly a decade on the hospital’s Board of Managers. She mourned the hospital’s closing in 2004 and the impact that its loss would have on the community. But she turned her charitable spirit towards other local causes, such as the Port Chester Ambulance Corps and the Carver Center in Port Chester. For her many volunteer efforts, Convent of the Sacred Heart recognized her with its Alumna of the Year Award.
Concurrent with her many volunteer efforts, she met the love of her life, Donald Whamond Jr. The two married in 1966 and were a formidable duo for over 53 years, playing, praying, and raising four children together. When not working as the office manager at the family-owned marina, Mrs. Whamond immersed herself in leadership roles for her children’s activities, including running Girl Scout groups and Cub Scout dens and teaching religious education at their CCD classes. She was also the “adoptive” mother of all of her children’s friends.
Karan Whamond is survived by: her loving husband Donald; her siblings F. Michael Donahue, Teresa Keister, Peter Donahue, and Mark Donahue; her children and their spouses, Donald III and Dana Whamond, Michael and Mary-Courtney Whamond, Haley and Stephen Brown, and Tim Whamond; her grandchildren Samantha Terkelsen, Katharine Brown, Patrick Whamond, Jack Whamond and Susie Whamond; and her great-granddaughter and the star of family Zoom calls, Amelia Rose Terkelsen. Karan is reunited in heaven with her parents; her siblings, Christina Sherf, William Donahue, and Steven Donahue; and her son, John Whamond.
A private funeral mass was held at Church of the Resurrection June 25. Resurrection will livestream the mass at https://boxcast.tv/view/mass-of-christian-burial-katharine-whamond–june-25-2020-903759 .
Donations in Karan Whamond’s memory may be made to the Carver Center.