Born in Spencer, son of the late Francis and Ida (Ethier) Donovan, he was raised in Hudson where he attended local schools and was a 1936 graduate of Hudson High School. He was a veteran of World War II, serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps until being honorably discharged.
Mr. Donovan was employed by LaPointe's Machine and Tool Co. of Hudson for many years until 1973, when he and a small group of investors started the Hudson Broach Co. after purchasing the Broaching Division of LaPointe's. He served as president of the company until his retirement in 1981. He served on the Hudson School Committee during the 1950s. He was a life member and former Exalted Ruler of the Hudson Lodge of Elks, served as District Deputy with the Elks and was a member of Saint Michael's Parish in Hudson.
He was a devoted family man who enjoyed spending time with his family, especially the summers at their cottage in Hampton Beach, N.H. He and Verna also enjoyed the times they spent together after retirement at their residence in Boynton Beach, Fla. from 1981 to 2007. He was an avid fan of the Red Sox and Patriots.
Besides his wife, he is survived by his daughter, Marie Soroka and her husband Wally of Alaska; his son, Daniel Donovan and his wife Mary June of Clinton; his brother, John “Doc” Donovan of Hudson; and his sister, Patricia Carney of Northborough. He is also survived by his four grandchildren, Holly Sullivan of Southborough, Stephen Soroka of Alaska, Julie Donovan of Clinton, and Kelly Zerveskes of Newmarket, N.H.; 10 great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews. He was the brother of the late Francis Donovan Jr., who died during World War II.
A funeral Mass will be celebrated Thursday, Nov. 17, at 9 a.m., in Saint Michael's Church, 21 Manning St., Hudson. Burial will follow in Saint Michael's Cemetery of Hudson. Calling hours will be held Wednesday, Nov. 16, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Tighe-Hamilton Funeral Home, 50 Central St., Hudson.