Francis Xavier McDonough

Jan 4th, 2022

Francis Xavier McDonough

Francis Xavier McDonough, 71, of South Yarmouth, MA, died on January 4, 2022. He was at his home and surrounded by loved ones. Frank is at rest after a year-long illness, which he handled with great courage and with his own sense of humor. 

Known variously as “Dad,” “Frank,” “Frankie,” and “FX,” Frank was a teller of tales, a dedicated public servant, a beloved husband, father, father-in-law, son, brother, uncle, nephew, pet-granddad, mentor, and friend.  

Frank was born in Boston to the late Francis X. and the late Eleanor P. (Higgins) McDonough on July 3, 1950. He grew up on Moss Hill in Jamaica Plain, MA, with his eight siblings. He was a proud member of the BC High Class of 1968 as well as the Providence College Class of 1972 (magna cum laude, political science). Frank completed graduate studies (Certificate in Administration and Management) at the Harvard Extension School. In June 1972, Frank married his high school sweetheart, Kathy (Griffin), on the Providence College campus. Together they lived and worked in the Washington, DC, area (1972-1975; 2004-2014), Arlington, MA (1975-1980), and Milton, MA (1980-2004), raising their family in Arlington and Milton. Frank was a devoted father, who enjoyed and took great pride in all of his children’s activities and endeavors.

Frank had a long and distinguished career as a public servant, in both federal government and Massachusetts state government agencies. He began his career as an Investigator and Senior Investigator for the Federal Trade Commission from 1972-1975 (Washington, DC) and 1975-1987 (Boston). While at the FTC in Boston, he also organized and became President of AFGE Local 3656. He then served successively as Labor Relations Manager at the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority, the Chief of Labor Policy and Director of Labor Relations at the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, and as the Director of Human Resources for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority.  

In 2004, Frank and Kathy moved from Milton to Washington, DC, where Frank continued his human resources career at the US Agency for International Development, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and finally as the Chief Human Capital Officer for the US Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS). In this last position, Frank received a 2013 Causey Award for his achievements in improving the labor-management working relationship at FNS. Frank was a valued colleague, mentor, and friend to many. He was known for his thoughtfulness and commitment to excellence in his work.  

In 2014, Frank and Kathy retired to South Yarmouth, MA. In his retirement, Frank loved to golf and enjoyed following all Boston and Providence College sports, as well as Princeton Hockey and Yale Fencing.  

Frank is survived by his beloved wife of 49 years, Katherine Ann (Griffin) McDonough, and by his two daughters, Patricia Elizabeth McDonough and her husband Eli Weissman of Washington, DC, and Sarah McDonough Greene and her husband Patrick Greene of Dobbs Ferry, New York.  

Frank is also survived by Pamela Nolan Sullivan and her husband Jerome Sullivan of Marion, MA, and six of his siblings: John McDonough of Kihei, Hawaii; Mary Ellen McDonough of Watertown, MA; Charles McDonough of Jamaica Plain, MA; Walter McDonough and his wife Eileen of West Roxbury, MA; Paula Tibert of Arnold, MD; and Thomas McDonough and his wife Mary Lou Geary of Dorchester, MA. Frank is predeceased by two siblings: Marguerite McDonough and Christopher McDonough. Additionally, Frank is survived by his many beloved nieces, nephews, and extended family members.  

Due to the COVID pandemic, funeral services and burial will be private. Frank has asked for “smiles, not tears.” In that spirit, an in-person celebration of Frank’s life for all of his friends and family will be held in the spring of 2022.  Details will be announced separately.

Arrangements are handled by Hallett Funeral Home, 273 Station Avenue, South Yarmouth. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to Providence College are welcome.

Guest Book

Richard F. Fahey
Tuesday - Jan 11, 2022 12:00 am

Frank -- "F.X." to many -- was a friend and classmate at BC High and we saw each other only sporadically through the years, but his wit and wisdom stayed with me, and I especially enjoyed seeing him at BC High reunions and around town when we both lived in Milton and our children attended the same schools. He had a sparkling sense of humor and a great love for both friends and family. My condolences to wife Katherine, his children, and other members of his family, including his sister Mary Ellen, another longtime friend.

Paul Butka
Saturday - Jan 8, 2022 12:00 am

I went to BC High with Frank and was saddened to learn of his passing. Although we drifted apart soon after graduating, he was a memorable guy and a classmate whom I look back upon fondly. I smiled when I read of his full life, his significant accomplishments and the obvious loved shared between him and his family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. I'm sorry for your loss.

Amy and Aaron Clayton
Friday - Jan 7, 2022 12:00 am

Thinking of you all. Uncle Frank was an incredible man. Devoted to his family, and committed to serving the greater good were always evident. We will miss his humor, his quick wit, and kind smile. All our love, Amy and Aaron

Robert G. and Jane Hamilton
Friday - Jan 7, 2022 12:00 am

Kathy, Tricia and Sarah we are so very sorry for your loss. Frank was a wonderful husband and father. He gave you all a wonderful life. He will be greatly missed. Know that you are all in our thoughts and prayers. Jane and Bob

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