John E. Donovan, 77
Jack was born in Worcester, one of eight children to Clyde and Gertrude (Dorsey) Donovan. He grew up on Grafton Hill and graduated from St. Stephen’s High School, where he was a standout basketball player. He went on to attend the University of Miami, where he also played basketball and studied Physical Education. He served in the United States Marine Corps, stationed at the Portsmouth Naval Prison (Portsmouth, NH).
On Nov. 30, 1957, Jack married the woman who would become his devoted wife for the next 56 years, Marolyn R. (Stuart) Donovan. Living for a period in the Webster and Worcester areas, they then settled in Westborough in 1976 to raise their six children, and have lived there ever since.
Before retiring in 1996, Jack worked in the automobile business for 40 years, devoting 25 years as General Manager for Toyota of Boston and Boston Nissan. However, Jack’s life’s passion was basketball. From the time he was 11 years old, from grade school to college to the Marines, Jack loved the game and devoted himself to inspiring young and old toward a similar passion.
Jack coached basketball at St. Marks School in Southborough; worked as a coach for youth summer basketball camp with Togo Palazzi and Elia Nicholas for several years. He also worked at the Westborough Tennis and Swim Club since 1998, and simultaneously gave private basketball lessons to aspiring youth players. Many of Jack’s students went on to play ball at a more advanced level throughout their high school and college years.
Jack is survived by the family he loved so much: his wife of 56 years, Marolyn; six adoring children, Jacqueline Marie Dambrocia of Riverside, CA, John E. Donovan Jr. and his wife Donna of Grafton, William J. Donovan and his wife Michelle of Uxbridge, James C. Donovan and his wife Millicent of Palm Bay, FL, Richard R. Donovan of Columbia, TN, and Tinamarie Donovan of Swampscott; two brothers, William Donovan of Yarmouth and Joseph Donovan of Holden; his sister, Mary O’Connell of Worcester; seven grandchildren, Nathan, Benjamin, Trevor, Shawn, Kaitlin, Daniel, and B.J.; many nieces, nephews, and extended family; and a host of loyal friends. Four sisters, Ann Zaborski, Joan Perotto, Marguerite “Peggy” Dansereau, and Catherine “Kitty” Cardanale, all predeceased him. Predeceased brothers-in-law, Danny, Bill, Smitty, Sammy, and Johnny, currently of Florida, were a strong influence in Jack’s younger years and remained so throughout his life.
Friends and relatives are invited to visit with the family Sunday, Sept. 15, from 3 – 7 p.m., in the Mercadante Funeral Home & Chapel, 370 Plantation St., Worcester. Jack’s funeral will be held Monday, Sept. 16 from the funeral home, with a 10 a.m. Mass in St. John’s Church, 44 Temple St. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Jack’s name can be made to the Basketball Specialist School, attn.: Jack Donovan Scholarship Fund, PO box 573, Marlborough, MA 01752.
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