Palatka man among five Irma-related deaths in Duval County

His family says Donald Mcauliff died doing what he loved doing the most: helping others.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Hours after Hurricane Irma left behind down trees, flooded streets and damaged homes, neighbors were seen helping neighbors and strangers become friends.

Donald Mcauliff, a Palatka resident, fell right in line.

"He had plenty stuff of back here to do but was eager to help others," said his son, Jeff Mcauliff.

Donald Mcauliff, the Clemson grad, believed in giving back.

"No matter who you are, what you did,where you were from it didn't matter," Jeff Mcauliff said.
 
He described his dad's spirit as being bigger than his 6-foot frame

"When you see his face you light up," he said. "He is that kind of a person."

Donald Maculiff, 64, retired as an industrial plant manger, but his work ethic kept him working.

"He was working for a company called Ride Solutions giving rides to people who having issues getting around mobility issues," his son said.
      
After Irma, Donald Mcauliff was helping a friend clean up storm damage when he collasped.

"They were working in the yard and had finished most of it, his friend had asked him to stop, but my dad was eager to finish up... but he kept going and going until he had a heart attack and passed away," Jeff Mcauliff said.

The Florida Emergency Operations Center reported that there were five Irma-related deaths in Duval County: Two cardiac related, two drownings and one attributed to heart disease.

"It is hard that he made it through the storm here and we were worried for his safety in general and that after the storm it happened," Jeff Mcauliff said.

Now, the family finds solace in the fact that he died doing what he enjoyed doing: giving someone a helping hand.

"To know that he passed away working with somebody side-by-side, he wasn't alone," he said. "He was helping people out people in need, it is really comforting to us to know he was in that spirit, in that mind set."

They would like for him to be remembered as a person who gave.
 

 

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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