Olean – Donald Thomas Fish
Donald T. Fish, 85, of 1624 Stardust Lane, passed away on Thursday, March 18, 2021, at his home surrounded by his loving wife and family.
Don was born June 23,1935 in Middle Granville, New York and was a son of Floyd and Anna Tomaszewski Fish. In 1963, he married Louise Sullivan, of Ridley Park, PA, who predeceased him in 1989. In 1993, he married Gay Sheahan of Olean, who survives.
After primary education in a one-room schoolhouse, Don graduated from Granville High School and then received a Bachelor of Arts, magna cum laude, from Notre Dame University in 1956. Don graduated from Georgetown University Law School in 1959 and then began his long and productive law career. Don was proud to serve in the U.S. Army during the Berlin Crisis as an advanced paramedic. In his early law career, he worked for the Washington D.C. Corporation Counsel, and then in law firms including Hornberg, Diggs, and Dwyer in Olean. Don went back to Washington to work in the U.S. Department of Justice under Robert Kennedy, whom he remembered as the best boss he ever had. Don chose to leave government work to follow his dream of his own small practice in Olean, where he formed McCarthy and Fish. Don loved the reasoned thought behind law and his practice focused on justice, integrity and the counsel of his community.
Don served on many boards including Olean Wholesale, Cattaraugus Abstract, and Mt. Irenaeus Franciscan Retreat. He was an active reader and a spiritual person who explored his Catholic faith’s intellectual tradition in depth. Don was a dedicated and active Notre Dame alumnus throughout his life. He will most definitely be remembered for fun-filled weekends spent with family and friends attending “Fighting Irish” football games in South Bend, Indiana.
First and foremost Don was a loving and dedicated husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend. The combination of his large heart, integrity, and service made being a grandfather one of Don’s (Poppy’s) greatest successes.
Along with his loving wife, Gay, Don is survived by; his 2 daughters, Meg (Peter) Saligman and Mary Catherine (James Kaplan) Fish; grandchildren, Lindsay, Robby, Nina, & Daniel Saligman, Lucas & Joseph Kaplan, and Ethan Kelley; his brother, Col. Edward J. Fish, USA Ret; many nieces and a nephew, Col Edward F. Fish, USA Ret, grandnieces, and grandnephews; and great neighbors Mike and Mary Freeman-Kelley.
Along with his loving first wife Louise, Don was predeceased by his parents and 2 brothers, Vernon and Patrick Fish.
Friends will be received at the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels, 202 South Union St., Olean, on Friday, March 26, 2021 from 9:30 am to 10:30 am, at which time a Mass of Christian Burial will be held. The Rev. Dan Riley, OFM, will celebrate. Burial will be at St. Bonaventure Cemetery in Allegany. Full military honors will be accorded by the Allegany American Legion Charles Harbel Post #892 Ritual Team. The family also plans a Memorial Celebration in the summer at Mt. Ireneaus.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Letro-McIntosh-Spink Funeral Home, Inc., 646 East State Street, Olean. Online condolences may be made at www.LetroMcIntoshSpinkFuneralHome.com.
Although Don's sense of humility compelled him to never attach his name to donations, contributions can be made in Don's honor to a cause he would have found meaningful, the Sorin Society through Notre Dame University, 1100 Grace Hall, Notre Dame, Indiana 46556 and Mt. Ireneaus, P.O. Box 100, West Clarksville, New York 14786.