Former Spanish teacher was remembered by family and colleagues on Wednesday for having a love of life and of his family and students.
Donato, who passed away March 27 at age 63,was remembered during a funeral Mass at Holy Spirit Church near Land Park in Sacramento. He worked at the Carmichael school as a Spanish teacher and football and baseball coach for 36 years before retiring in 2007.
"My dad loved life and he instilled that in me," Alan Donato told the overflow crowd of relatives, friends and former students and colleagues. "He taught students, not Spanish... my dad left his footprint in this world through the thousands of students and players he worked with (at Jesuit)."
Donato is survived by his wife Terri, their son Alan, his sisters Mona Witry, Bonnie Andre and Linda Donato and numerous nieces and nephews.
"What a fun man he was and I know how much love he had for his students," said Ron Andre, Donato's godson and nephew and a Jesuit graduate and former teacher. "He was a fun uncle to have and I'll always remember spending 4th of July parties with him."
Donato was known by his Jesuit students as "the Fair Guy" and colleagues said they respected him.
"Tom has come to the end of his life and God has called him home," said the Rev. Charles Olsen, S.J., who presided over Wednesday's Mass and teaches theology at Jesuit. "He will live on with us in stories we share."
Donato was a graduate of Christian Brothers High School, where he played football and baseball and and Saint Mary's College. He also received his Master's Degree in Spanish from California State University, Sacramento.