The O'Donoghue Society

For all those interested in history and genealogy and whose names are derived from the Gaelic

Snippets: October ‘Our Ancestors and the Law’ Response Three: How the Federal Bureau of Investigation ended up at a Donahue wedding

How the Federal Bureau of Investigation ended up at a Donahue Wedding
 
By Thomas M and Colleen Donahue Witte
 
A close up of text on a black backgroundDescription automatically generated
 
Colleen Donahue Witte was hired for a stenography position by the FBI Field Office in Minneapolis, MN after she graduated with a degree in Advanced Stenography from the at the North Dakota School of Science and Technology located in Wahpeton, ND in 1967. Colleen and particularly her father James Donahue were elated. James had spent much of his life in law enforcement and the FBI enjoyed a very favorable and prestigious reputation in the country at that time.

She was married to me after a little over a year of working at the FBI. The wedding, held just a few blocks from the FBI office, was attended by the majority of the agents and stenographers etc., who worked at her office. We were married on what should have been her lunch hour (she was kindly given the rest of the day and the day following off).
It was somewhat unusual in that neither of our parents nor any of our family were in attendance. The story of how this came about is long and complicated, so the following account only relates the bare bones of the story.

Colleen and I had been seeing each other prior to my entry into the Air Force in April of 1968. When I finished my schooling, I was given a 30 day leave prior to reporting to Sembach AB, Germany. We had no set plans of getting married at that time. However, the last two weeks of my leave I spent in Minneapolis visiting Colleen while staying with my friend and best man Ron Isley. Very quickly we decided to get married. Colleen was 18 years old and old enough to marry without parental consent in Minnesota. I was less than 21 years old, and therefore needed the consent of my parents. We hurriedly started the paperwork and sent the request for consent back to my folk’s ranch in South Dakota. We then waited! Colleen kept her wedding dress at the FBI office so as to be ready when we obtained the permission. We finally received the necessary papers on the 6th of September 1968 (which was a Friday). On Monday morning the 9th of September we arranged to be married later that day in the Hennepin County Courthouse in downtown Minneapolis. Colleen got into her wedding dress at the FBI office and Special Agent Herbert Eckenroth drove her the few blocks to the courthouse in his convertible so that she could get in without wrinkling her wedding dress and regalia as much.

So, despite the last minute planning and delays, we were married that day more than 51 years ago. I remember that in addition to being very taken with the beauty of my new bride, I was also very impressed with all the special agents (with guns under there coats), telling me to make sure I took good care of her. I left two days later and went to Sembach. Colleen continued to work for the FBI until the end November and then flew to Germany.

So that is how the FBI ended up at a Donahue’s wedding.
 
 
How the Federal Bureau of Investigation ended up at a Donahue Wedding
 
By Thomas M and Colleen Donahue Witte
 
A close up of text on a black backgroundDescription automatically generated
 
Colleen Donahue Witte was hired for a stenography position by the FBI Field Office in Minneapolis, MN after she graduated with a degree in Advanced Stenography from the at the North Dakota School of Science and Technology located in Wahpeton, ND in 1967. Colleen and particularly her father James Donahue were elated. James had spent much of his life in law enforcement and the FBI enjoyed a very favorable and prestigious reputation in the country at that time.

She was married to me after a little over a year of working at the FBI. The wedding, held just a few blocks from the FBI office, was attended by the majority of the agents and stenographers etc., who worked at her office. We were married on what should have been her lunch hour (she was kindly given the rest of the day and the day following off).
It was somewhat unusual in that neither of our parents nor any of our family were in attendance. The story of how this came about is long and complicated, so the following account only relates the bare bones of the story.

Colleen and I had been seeing each other prior to my entry into the Air Force in April of 1968. When I finished my schooling, I was given a 30 day leave prior to reporting to Sembach AB, Germany. We had no set plans of getting married at that time. However, the last two weeks of my leave I spent in Minneapolis visiting Colleen while staying with my friend and best man Ron Isley. Very quickly we decided to get married. Colleen was 18 years old and old enough to marry without parental consent in Minnesota. I was less than 21 years old, and therefore needed the consent of my parents. We hurriedly started the paperwork and sent the request for consent back to my folk’s ranch in South Dakota. We then waited! Colleen kept her wedding dress at the FBI office so as to be ready when we obtained the permission. We finally received the necessary papers on the 6th of September 1968 (which was a Friday). On Monday morning the 9th of September we arranged to be married later that day in the Hennepin County Courthouse in downtown Minneapolis. Colleen got into her wedding dress at the FBI office and Special Agent Herbert Eckenroth drove her the few blocks to the courthouse in his convertible so that she could get in without wrinkling her wedding dress and regalia as much.

So, despite the last minute planning and delays, we were married that day more than 51 years ago. I remember that in addition to being very taken with the beauty of my new bride, I was also very impressed with all the special agents (with guns under there coats), telling me to make sure I took good care of her. I left two days later and went to Sembach. Colleen continued to work for the FBI until the end November and then flew to Germany.

So that is how the FBI ended up at a Donahue’s wedding.
 
 
28.11.2019