Nicholas Donato Jr.

Nicholas Donato Jr., age 75, of Merrill, previously of Ishpeming, Michigan, passed away on Tuesday, October 4, 2022, at his home, while under the care of Aspirus Comfort Care & Hospice Services, and is home with Jesus.  He lived in Ishpeming, Michigan for most of his life, but moved to Merrill in April of 2021 to be closer to his family, who were blessed to be able to help him through his health trials. Nick was born to the late Nicholas and Evelyn (Matheson) Donato on July 26, 1947.  He was born and raised in Ishpeming, Michigan with 12 siblings, with fond memories of growing up and having his dad to himself to watch football games.  Nick served in the U.S. Navy as a diesel mechanic for 3 years, serving 1 year patrolling along the Mekong River in Vietnam.  He was honorably discharged on January 4, 1973.  Following his service in the Navy, Nick was a faithful provider for his family as a civil servant for 30 years, serving as a materials handler and equipment operator at 3 different military installations, with most of his time at K.I. Sawyer Air Force base in Gwinn, Michigan.  Nick enjoyed gatherings with family, cookouts, fireworks, parades and any fun event with family or crowds.  He was a very kind-hearted man, and never complained, even in his last days.  Nick enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, attending their sporting events, watching Packer’s football, basketball, Gunsmoke and other westerns and gameshows.  Nick especially enjoyed watching his grandson play football in college at Eastern Oregon University.  When things got tough with his cancer, he pressed on saying, “one day at a time.”

Nick is survived by his daughter: Michelle (John), son: Devon (Christa), 12 grandchildren: Ryan, Elizabeth, Zakary, Grace, Abigail, Brenna, Faith, Sarah, Samuel, Connor, Rebekah and Silas, brothers: Ralph (Helen), Rocky (Janet) and Jimmy (Barb), sister: Rosemary (Dione) and several nieces and nephews.  He was preceded in death by his parents, siblings: Victor, Danny, David, Arthur (Connie), Irene (Gert), Mary Lou (Joseph), Stella (Bob) and Tony (Dee). 

Nick will be dearly missed by his children and grandchildren who love him so much.  Per Nick’s request, no formal services will be held, however, there will be a family gathering, along with many cookouts, fireworks, and other events where his life will be remembered. Although no services will be held, military honors will be conducted by the Merrill V.F.W. Post 1638 Honor Guard at Waid Funeral Home for the family and will be available for viewing via livestream under his obituary on the funeral home website. Waid Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Merrill is assisting the family with arrangements.  Online condolences are encouraged and may be made at

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