Obituary for Mary Therese Donovan (Kelley)
Mary Therese (Kelley) Donovan, 89, widow of Raymond E. Donovan and a longtime resident of Meriden, died on Friday, December 1, 2017 in Southington.
Born in Waterbury on May 1, 1928, to the late Stephen A. and Mary E. (Downey) Kelley, Mrs. Donovan was a graduate of Saints Peter and Paul School, Class of 1942, and Crosby High School, Class of 1946.
In 1947, after studies at the Katherine Gibbs School in Providence RI, Mary began her career as a secretary at the Connecticut Light and Power Company in Waterbury. While there she met her future husband, a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross. Mary and Ray were married by the Rev. William J. Donaldson SJ at Immaculate Conception Church in October 1953 and continued working at CL+P, eventually transferring to the new Berlin headquarters, where, in the executive suite of Chairman and CEO Sherman Knapp, Mary was secretary to Administrative Vice President Paul Hayden. It was a different era; the four executive secretaries were known as the “Executive Suitees.”
While her children were in Holy Angels School in South Meriden, Mary participated in the Home and School Association and assisted in the school library. She later taught in the parish religious education program. Mary and Ray were devoted parishioners of Holy Angels for over 50 years.
Through Ray’s association with Meriden Hospital and its successors, Mary was involved in many hospital activities, including the Volunteer Program and the Auxiliary. During the 1970s she was one of the Auxiliary members who voted to remove cigarettes from the Gift Shop and patient carts. In the 1980s Mary also volunteered with the Curtis Home Auxiliary, serving one term as president, and the Elderly Program. She also served for many years as a Corporator of MidState Medical Center and was a member of MidState’s Infinity Circle.
Due to their common interest in health care, in 1995 Mary and Ray founded the Family Health Center at the Meriden Public Library. Their investment provided computers and other media resources in health care for people who had limited access to such information at that time.
In her later years Mary also participated in the Senior Buddy Reading Program at Nathan Hale School.
Mary and Ray traveled extensively over the years, first with their children in this country, and later throughout western Europe. They made regular trips to Bermuda and also enjoyed their second home on Cape Cod.
After Ray’s death in 1997 Mary remained devoted to his alma mater as a member of the Holy Cross President’s Council and attended reunions of the Class of 1951. She kept in regular contact with the many friends she had made over the years and traveled on Holy Cross Alumni Association trips.
After residing in Meriden for over 58 years, Mary moved to Mulberry Gardens Assisted Living, Southington, and finally to Southington Care Center, where she received wonderful care over the past three years.
Mary is survived by her four children: Raymond E. (Peg) Donovan III; Mark S. Donovan; MaryJean “MJ” (Tom) Higgins; and the Rev. Kevin G. Donovan; six grandchildren: Jacob and Shaelan Donovan; Johnna and Liam Donovan; Christopher and Matthew Higgins. In addition to her husband and parents, Mary was predeceased by her sister, M. Jean Kelley, and her brother and sister-in-law, Ed and Doris (Donovan) Kelley.
The funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Pius X Church, 525 Woodtick Road, Wolcott, on Wednesday, December 6, 2017 at 11:00am. Calling hours will be held at St. Pius X on Tuesday from 1:00pm – 3:00pm and 5:00pm – 7:00pm. Evening Prayer will be said at 4:45pm.
Memorial donations may be made to Meriden Soup Kitchen, 460 Broad Street, Meriden CT, 06450 or St. Basil the Great Parish, 525 Woodtick Road, Wolcott CT, 06716.
John J. Ferry & Sons, Meriden, 88 East Main St., Meriden, CT has been entrusted with arrangements. For online condolences please visit jferryfh.com.