Beloved son of the late William C. and Mary T. Donovan of Shrewsbury, Bill leaves his devoted brothers and sisters, Denis P. of Medford, James E. of Chicago, Ill., Margaret Donovan Elliott of Guilford, Conn., Anne Donovan Potter of Brooklyn, N.Y., Mary C. of Northampton, and John B. of Brooklyn, N.Y.
Bill pursued a life of independence and joy. Born with cerebral palsy and facing many health challenges, he succeeded in living a unique and full life. He loved humor, family trips to Vermont and Cape Cod, the New England Patriots, N.C.I.S., and westerns. A longtime resident of Boston, he loved his apartment within view of the Citgo sign, motoring in his wheelchair around Kenmore Square, and basking in the sun of Beacon Hill. He cherished long and laughter-filled visits with his many guests.
Bill graduated from Shrewsbury High School and Quinsigamond Community College. He then earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from Northeastern University. A disability rights advocate, Bill participated in rallies and political activism to make Boston more accessible. He was involved in the movement that resulted in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Beloved by his caregivers, most recently the staff at the Beaumont Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center at Westborough, he leaves behind a large and loving family, including aunts, uncles, cousins, sister and brothers-in-law, and nieces and nephews who will miss him very much.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit with Bill's family Friday, Feb. 21, from 4 – 7 p.m., in the Britton-Shrewsbury Funeral Home, 648 Main St., Shrewsbury. A funeral Mass celebrating his life will be Saturday, Feb. 22, at 10 a.m., in Saint Mary's Church, 640 Main St., Shrewsbury. Burial will follow in Mountain View Cemetery of Shrewsbury.