Gavin Dugan Donaldson, age 62, of Salisbury, NH, passed away March 10, 2022 at Massachusetts General Hospital after a courageous fight against brain cancer.
Gavin Donaldson was born on June 10, 1959 in Port Jefferson, Long Island, NY to Richard Alexander Donaldson IV and Patricia Ruth Manning. He spent his early years in Rocky Point, Long Island, NY and many school years at Otter Valley in Brandon, VT. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Northland College in 1981 and a Master’s degree from Indiana University in 1991. He married Karen Bresslin in 2004.
Gavin dedicated his life to his love of soccer. He spent his entire career coaching men’s collegiate soccer, including 31 years at West Virginia Wesleyan College as the men’s head soccer coach. In addition to his work at the collegiate level, he spent many years working with the youth at camps and clubs. He served on a number of committees, including numerous times on the NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer Committee as National and Regional Chair. He had so many accomplishments in his illustrious career. To name a few – 1994 NAIA National Championship & National Coach of the Year, 12 conference championships, five NCAA DII National Tournament appearances, seven MEC/WVIAC Coach of the Year Awards, and currently sits 11th all-time in the NCAA Division II record books with 402 victories. He has also been inducted into three Hall of Fame’s - Northland College (1998); West Virginia Soccer Association (2022) and West Virginia Wesleyan Athletics (2022).
Gavin was much loved by his family, friends, the soccer community, and colleagues. What he loved most was working with young adults; watching them develop and grow. He was a tremendous mentor and friend to so many people and his impact will live on in the lives he has touched. He will be deeply missed.
He is survived by his wife Karen Bresslin Donaldson, three paternal step-siblings - Barbara Donaldson Wilson, Richard Alexander Donaldson V, William R. Donaldson and three maternal step-siblings - Pamela K. Miller, John E. Miller, Sandra J. Miller Donaldson. As well as nephews and nieces. Not to be forgotten, his treasured Australian Shepherd dogs – Storm and Wookie and two adored cats – Thunder and Lightning.
He is predeceased by his parents Richard Alexander Donaldson IV and Patricia Ruth Manning, and one paternal step-sibling Guy Donaldson.
There will be a private burial service for family and close friends at Franklin Cemetery in the spring.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Gavin Donaldson to the American Brain Tumor Association online at https://bit.ly/DonateABTA. or The Gavin Donaldson Fund at https://unitedsoccercoaches.org/coachesgive/ ***A connection to the websites can be reached by clicking on the link below the text of this obituary.
Thibault-Neun Funeral Home in Franklin, NH is assisting with arrangements and an online guestbook is available at www.neunfuneralhomes.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gavin Dugan Donaldson, please visit our floral store.