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Joseph Donovan

Joseph Herman Donovan

Sunday, January 12th, 2020
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Obituary

Joseph Herman Donovan, 82, born April 7, 1937, in his family home on Park St., Arlington, MA, to Mary Catherine (Leahy) Donovan and Francis Donovan. Died peacefully, on his own terms, January, 12, 2020, having spent his final days at his home on Wyman St. in Arlington, surrounded by beloved family and friends and his Chihuahua, Paul.

“Joe” went to St. Agnes School through the ninth grade and graduated from Arlington Vocational High School in 1954. He took a job as a draftsman in the Electrical Engineering Department at Tufts University, attended classes at Tufts, Northeastern and Wentworth Institute of Technology, and developed into a talented mechanical designer. In 1957 he married his childhood sweetheart, Anna DeSimone, also of Arlington. They had two children.

In 1964 he moved with his young family from Arlington to Carlisle, MA. In 1968 he joined the General Radio Company (GenRad) in Concord, MA, where he remained until 1982, when he acquired a debilitating heart disease. A heart transplant in 1997 gave Joe the opportunity to live a full life, enjoy his grandchildren, travel, and follow his interests, talents, and quirky curiosity well into old age.

Joe was a fine woodworker. He and his wife maintained a business for many years buying, restoring and selling antiques. Their shop sign “Antiques & Things” was a familiar landmark on Route 225 in Carlisle. It would take an encyclopedia to catalogue all the cool stuff he designed, built, painted, refinished, repaired and maintained for family, friends, and customers over the course of his life. To his grandkids, he was also a babysitter extraordinaire.

Survived by his beloved and devoted wife of 62 years, Anna Marie (DeSimone) Donovan; daughter Sara Donovan Whitford and her husband, David, of Arlington, MA; son Daniel Joseph Donovan and his wife, Kim, of Carlisle, MA; and his four treasured grandchildren - Emma and Anna “Annie” Whitford, and Arley and Jack Donovan - to whom he was “Pa.”

Also survived by his siblings Sarah “Sally” (Donovan) Sutherland and her husband David of Quincy, MA; Mary (Donovan) DeSimone and her husband Michael of Lexington, MA; Gerard Donovan and his wife Donna (Caterino) of Billerica, MA; sisters-in-law Martha (Lyons) Donovan of Virginia, and Dorothy (Wellington) Donovan of Natick, MA; and many nieces and nephews. Predeceased by brothers Vice Admiral Francis R. Donovan and William J. Donovan.

Funeral Mass on January 25th, at 10 am in St. Agnes Church, 32 Medford St., Arlington, MA.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that a donation be made in Joe’s name to the Accelerated Cure Project for Multiple Sclerosis, or the MSPCA.
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Martha

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