Bishop Hugh A. Donohoe, the first bishop to preside over the Diocese of Stockton and a longtime supporter of the farm workers' movement, has died at the age of 82.
Donohoe died Monday at St. Agnes Medical Center in Fresno where he had been recuperating from hip surgery.
Donohoe served as bishop of the Fresno Diocese beginning in 1969 and retired in 1980. He was the first bishop of the newly formed Stockton Diocese in 1962 and, before that, was auxiliary bishop with the San Francisco Archdiocese from 1947 to 1969.
Throughout his tenure he expressed strong belief that the church should be involved in social issues. He was one of the first priests to express support for the farm workers' organizing efforts and was credited with helping swing the nation's bishops away from the conservative position they held during the grape-strike controversy.
Terry Schmall, managing editor of the Central California Register, a Catholic newspaper, said that Donohoe "was fond of saying that he did not take sides in the strike, but in accordance with the social teachings in the church he supported the cause of the grape workers."
Donohoe also was active in campaigns against abortion, Schmall said.
Born in San Francisco, Donohoe was ordained in 1930 after study at St. Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park. He earned a doctorate degree in economics from Catholic University of America in Washington in 1935.