Industry mourns metallurgist at Mercury Marine

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Dr. Ray Donahue

Dr. Ray Donahue

Dr. Ray Donahue, who worked for Brunswick Corp. since 1972 and was a respected metallurgist with 60 U.S. and foreign patents, died Oct. 10. He was 76.

Donahue was a Technical Fellow at Mercury Marine and received numerous awards. His most prestigious awards were the John A. Penton Gold Medal in 2005, the highest honor from the American Foundry Society, and the North American Die Casting Association’s Herman H. Doehler Award in 2016.

An obituary said Donahue was a graduate of the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, where he obtained a doctorate in metallurgical engineering. After graduation Donahue and his wife, Dorothy, moved to Connecticut, where he was a professor of metallurgy. They subsequently moved to Glenview, Ill., where he began his career at Brunswick, which eventually brought him to Fond du Lac, Wis., and Mercury Marine.

Donahue was the co-inventor of MercAlloy, a low-copper alloy with added magnesium for strength and long-term corrosion resistance, even in salt water.

At the time of his passing, Donahue was chairman of the NADCA R&D Committee. He delivered four papers at the 2016 Die Casting Congress & Tabletop in Columbus, Ohio. One of those papers was awarded “Paper of the Year.”

“Mercury Marine has evolved quite a bit over the past 45 years, but through it all the one that remained the same was Dr. Ray,” Mercury Marine said in a statement. “He helped set the foundation for much of what we do here today. Dr. Ray loved everything about the company, and his passion and dedication was infectious. Dr. Ray will be sorely missed, not just for what he brings to the company, but because of the man he was.”

He is survived by his wife, to whom he was married for 53 years; and four children, Sheryl (Jeff) Hoyer of Northbrook, Ill.; Rick (Stephanie) Donahue of West Bend, Wis.; Ron (Kay) Donahue of St. Peter, Wis.; and Colleen (Paul) Donahue of Oshkosh, Wis.

Donahue also leaves behind 18 grandchildren.