William C. Donley Jr., 71: Avid reader, Civil War buff

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SCARBOROUGH – William “Bill” Donley Jr., 71, of Scarborough, passed away Oct. 16, after a long illness.

Donley was born in Portland Dec. 23, 1943, to William C. Donley Sr. and Grace Driscoll Donley. He grew up on Walnut Street and fondly recalled the time he spent “on the hill.” After graduating from Portland High School, he attended Thomas College in Waterville and the University of Maine in Portland.

While working at Union Mutual, Donley met Donna F. Ranquist of Swan’s Island, and they were married a short time later on Feb. 3, 1968 in Portland. The couple raised their two daughters, Geri-Lynne and Angela, in Cape Elizabeth.

The majority of Donley’s career was spent at Delta Airlines in Portland. After retiring from Delta in 2000, he was an usher for the Portland Sea Dogs. He truly enjoyed this, as baseball was a lifelong passion and Donley was an avid Red Sox fan.

Donley also loved reading, and could almost always be found lost in the pages of a book when he was at home. He was a true Civil War buff, and could discuss the period in history for hours. Donley was always compassionate and concerned about others, even when he was battling his own illnesses. He was happiest when surrounded by friends and family.

Donley was predeceased by a sister, Carol Hall; a brother-in-law, Norman Hall; and his father-in-law, Frederick Ranquist.

He leaves behind his wife of 47 years; two daughters, Geri-Lynne Adler of Scarborough and Angela Cavanaugh of Westbrook; five grandchildren, Emily, Kayla and Ethan Adler and Kelsey and Ava Cavanaugh; a sister, Susan Ferrell of Yarmouth; and his mother-in-law, Beulah Ranquist of Ellsworth, along with many sisters- and brothers-in-law, nieces, nephews and cousins.

Visiting hours will be held Oct. 23 from 4-7 p.m. at Hobbs Funeral Home, 230 Cottage Road, South Portland. A funeral service, also at Hobbs, will be held Oct. 24 at noon.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland, 277 Cumberland Ave., Portland, ME 04101, or Project Grace, P.O. Box 6846, Scarborough, ME 04070.