Harold E. McDonough, a retired National Security Agency telecommunications expert who worked for more than 30 years at Fort Meade, died of cancer Jan. 29 at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. He was 68 and lived in Columbia.
Mr. McDonough was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., and served in the Navy from 1953 to 1956 as a communications specialist.
He earned his bachelor's degree in business in 1970 from the University of Maryland, College Park and a master's in management from Central Michigan University in 1982.
Mr. McDonough joined NSA in 1965 as a computer programmer and spent most of his career in the agency's telecommunications, computer services, technology and systems organization. He retired in 1997.
"He was extremely gifted and efficient in the realm of technology. He was also very instrumental in the work that created the position of chief information officer," said Patrick D. Weadon, an NSA public affairs official.
Mr. McDonough worked for several years after his retirement as an information technology consultant.
He had coached youth soccer and enjoyed skiing with his family at Seven Springs, Pa., and traveling.
A funeral Mass was offered Tuesday at St. Louis Roman Catholic Church in Clarksville.
Survivors include his wife of 41 years, the former Donna Conahan; four sons, Kevin M. McDonough of Ellicott City, Daniel J. McDonough of Potomac Falls, and Timothy P. McDonough and Patrick N. McDonough, both of Columbia; a daughter, Kathleen P. McKeever of Eldersburg; his mother, Vivian G. McDonough of Yonkers, N.Y.; and 11 grandchildren.