Elsie Donovan


3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Sunday, March 21, 2021
Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home
43 Winn Street
Burlington, Massachusetts, United States

Funeral Mass

10:00 am
Monday, March 22, 2021
St. Margaret's Church
111 Winn St.
Burlington, Massachusetts, United States


11:15 am
Monday, March 22, 2021
Chestnut Hill Cemetery
Bedford St.
Burlington, Massachusetts, United States

Obituary of Elsie M. Donovan

LINK to the Funeral Mass.

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Elsie M. (Johnson) Donovan, a resident of Burlington for 67 years, passed away at the Winchester Hospital on Wednesday morning, March 17, 2021, she was 96 years old.

Elsie was born and raised in Somerville.  She was a 1942 graduate of Somerville High School.  As a child Elsie enjoyed spending summers on the family farm in Boscawen, New Hampshire.  It was while on a blind date that she would meet her future husband Frank Donovan.  They married in 1946 and moved to Burlington in 1954 where they would raise their eight children.  Elsie and Frank were very involved in St. Margaret’s church when the church just first opened.  She was a member of the Catholic Daughters and supported Frank with his membership and activities with the Knights of Columbus. They made many lifelong friendships through the church and the K of C. 

Elsie devoted her life to creating a warm and loving home for her family.  Wednesday nights were an important time at the Donovan household when they would all come together for a family meal.  Elsie was a resilient and strong woman who did whatever it took to take care of her family.  When Frank’s health began to decline and he started to lose his eyesight, Elsie, at the age of 40, got her driver’s license.  At the age of 50 she went to work at the Stop and Shop in Lexington.  Elsie also faced immense sadness in her life with the death of her husband Frank, the loss of two of her children to cancer and the death of two grandsons.  

Elsie enjoyed her monthly trips to Foxwoods and her weekly bingo games with her friends.  Her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren were the center of her life.  She was so very proud of all of them and to her “they all walked on water”.  Family gatherings and holidays were always a special time for Elsie and her family.  Elsie was known for her welcoming hugs, her great sense of humor and having a “twinkle” in her eyes.   She will be remembered as a kind and genuine woman who always put the needs of her family first.  Simply said – her family is her legacy.

Elsie was the beloved wife of the late Francis Donovan.  She was the loving mother of Dennis Donovan & his wife Carol of FL, Karen Rigazio & her husband Michael of Somerville, Sharon Icovitti & her late husband Thomas of FL, Shirley Donovan of Nashua, NH, Mary Donovan & her significant other Geno Gauthier of Burlington, Sherri McCann & her husband Ray of Dracut & the late Paul Donovan and Donna Doherty.  Mother-in-law of Chris Donovan of Billerica and Kevin Doherty of Rockport.  Proud grandmother of Jaime Caputo, Michael Rigazio, Nicole and Erica Icovitti, Rachel Perkins, Ryan McCann and the late P. J. and Michael Donovan.  Great grandmother of Cameron, Domenic, Dante, Emily & Abigail.   Best friend and sister of the late Mary Rock.  Sister of Barbara Fleming of VA, Edward Johnson of Natick and the late Thelma Dundon, Olga Johnson, Martin Johnson, Phyllis Tudgay, Dorothy Armata & Evelyn Chase.  Dearest friend of Terry Sullivan of Burlington.   Visiting hours will be held at the Edward V Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., Burlington (Exit 34 off Rt. 128/95 Woburn side) on Sunday, March 21 from 3-5 p.m.  Funeral from the Funeral Home on Monday, March 22 at 9 a.m.  Followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Margaret Church in St. Veronica Parish, www.stveronicama.org, 111 Winn St., Burlington at 10 a.m.  Services will conclude with burial in Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Burlington.  In lieu of flowers memorials in Elsie’s name may be made to the Michael James Donovan Scholarship Fund, c/o Billerica Treasurer’s Office, 365 Boston Road, Billerica, MA 01821







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