STOCKTON — The Stockton Emergency Food Bank pushed through the rain Monday, but its the murder of Executive Director Mike Donaghy that is leaving them remembering a man they say transformed the food bank in a short amount of time.
“Strong leader. He was really the force behind our success. He really carried the heart and soul of our mission,” Food bank board president Brian Heck said. “He cared for people, he cared for the community and his main concern was always improving the services and he did that. Just invaluable and irreplaceable.”
Donaghy was found dead early Friday morning in a rental complex he owned. Police are calling the case a homicide, but have not released a cause of death or any suspect information.
“Mike became a friend to me and to our staff because he put his heart into what he did. So, it was a shock and disbelief. There is not much more i can say to that. Tears were shed,” Heck told FOX40.
Donaghy’s loss causing a ripple effect in the community as well, with news of his death affecting Mayor Michael Tubbs, who worked closely with Donaghy on the food bank’s annual backpack and turkey drives.
“He was always a champion of people, being able to help. When i found out about it, I gasped. I was in the car and the notification came up and I had to stop,” Tubbs said. “He was always a good partner and it was never about him. It was about the people he served.”
Despite only being there a year and a half, Donaghy left a lasting impression, making little changes, like the way food is distributed, while ensuring the food bank’s mission was heard by everyone in the community.
The board will be meeting Monday night to discuss the next steps in moving forward. Donaghy’s wife has asked that any donations in her late husband’s honor be made to the food bank.