Claire P. Donovan

March 20, 1929 ~ December 22, 2018 (age 89)

Claire Donovan passed away peacefully on December 22, 2018 at the age of 89. Claire was born in Boston on March 20, 1929.  She was the beloved daughter of Mike and Delia (Flaherty) Donovan, and the loving sister of Frank, Marie and Paul Donovan.  She is survived by her niece, Ann Donovan of Newton and her nephew, Paul Donovan and his wife, Dr. Elena Toschi of Brookline, her sister-in-law Mary Donovan, as well as her grandnephew Michael Donovan of Newton and her grandnieces Cate and Silvia Donovan of Brookline.


Claire grew up in Dorchester and spent her summers at her family's home in Hull, where she developed a lifelong love of the ocean and swimming.  She loved dogs and always had one at her side. She graduated from Boston University and began working in schools for young women run by the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS), first as a teacher, and then as an administrator.  She rose to become the head of the DYS schools in Lancaster and Marlborough.


Claire provided education, training, guidance and support for countless young women, most of whom came from disadvantaged backgrounds. She lived a committed life, and she made an enormous difference in the lives of these young women, her family and friends. Later in life Claire moved to Cohasset, where she lived for many years. She loved the seaside town and being close to her family.


A Memorial Mass to celebrate Claire's life will be held at St. Anthony's Church, 10 Summer St., Cohasset at 10 am on Saturday, January 5.  Burial will be private. Visiting hours will be before the Mass from 8:45 am to 9:45 am at the McNamara-Sparrell Funeral Home at 1 Summer St., Cohasset (across from St. Anthony's Church). In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Claire's name to Harbor Health Elder Service Plan, 1135 Morton St., Mattapan, MA 02126.

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