Collin James McDonough of Sparta, N.J., passed peacefully from this life with his family by his side on July 17, 2021, at the Homestead Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Frankford, NJ. Collin was 29 years old.
Son of George and Judy (Chesnutt) McDonough, Collin was born on October 8, 1991 in Newton, N.J., and was a lifelong Sparta resident. He attended the Clifton E. Lawrence School in Wantage, N.J., for eleven years in a highly specialized classroom for students with multiple disabilities. Collin attended Horizon High School in Livingston, NJ, also a school for special needs students and graduated in 2013. The teachers, therapists, nurses and aides were extraordinary professionals with expertise in their fields and so much compassion in their hearts. Collin enjoyed the rock ‘n’ roll music, cooking Italian food and working a blender with a switch to make afternoon protein shakes. He loved the hanging swing and therapy pools. He listened to the voices of all those around him and smiled or laughed when he heard happy chatter.
Collin attended the SCARC Sparta Center, a day program for medically-fragile individuals with developmental disabilities, after graduating from Horizon. In 2018, Collin moved to a medical group home in West Caldwell and day program in Livingston, NJ receiving services through Universal Institute. Again, he received the very best care from staff and nursing. In July of 2019, Collin was transferred from St. Barnabas Medical Center to the Homestead Rehab under hospice care with Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice. His health improved until he was diagnosed with Covid-19 in May of 2020. Collin battled Covid-19 and miraculously survived. His fighting spirit and will to live was extraordinary.
Collin could not speak yet he was able to share his love for others through his soulful blue eyes and his special vocalizations. He inspired others through his courage and strength in a weakened, fragile body. Collin drew everyone into his world to witness the purity of his soul and the strength of his heart. He changed all who knew him in some way and brought out the best in all of us. Collin loved sunlight and would raise his head to feel the sun’s warmth on his face. He loved listening to birds sing, music playing, and kids laughing. Collin competed in many races and two marathons with his brother pushing his wheelchair. He loved to snuggle with his family and his dogs. Collin was happiest spending time with family and friends on vacation, holidays, birthdays and ordinary days. He was an earth-bound angel who has gone home to heaven.
Collin was predeceased by his grandfathers, George E. McDonough and James H. Chesnutt, both of Sparta. He is also predeceased by his cousin, Bryan Stathopoulos, of West Chester, PA.
Collin is survived by his parents, George and Judy (Chesnutt) McDonough of Sparta, his brother, Brendan McDonough and his fiancé Cindy Chen, both of Jersey City, NJ. He is also survived by his devoted grandmothers, Marie R. Chesnutt and Marguerite McDonough, both of Sparta and his aunts, uncles and cousins.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, July 22, 2021, from 5-8 p.m. at Goble Funeral Home 22 Main St., Sparta, NJ 07871. Funeral service will be held Friday, 11AM at First Presbyterian Church of Sparta 32 Main St., Sparta, NJ 07871. Cremation will be held privately.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to SCARC Guardianship Services, Inc. at 11 US Route 206, Suite 100, Augusta, NJ 07822.