Mary Donovan, 88, Former Shrewsbury Newspaper Publisher

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Mary T. Donovan
Mary T. Donovan

SHREWSBURY, Mass. – Mary T. Donovan, formerly of Shrewsbury, died Jan. 25. She was 88.

Donovan was longtime editor and publisher of the Shrewsbury Voice. Starting as a local reporter, she rose through the ranks to lead the newspaper as publisher.

She was born Jan. 26, 1924, in Boston to Matilda "Maude" Coveney and Joseph Vincent Nuttall. She attended Norwood High School and Wyndham Secretarial School in Boston. After raising her family, she studied at Clark University.

Donovan was a founding member of the Commission for Women of the Diocese of Worcester. She was a board member of the Catholic Free Press, where she was a contributing writer. In 2007, she was named one of Anna Maria College's Everyday Heroes.

She was a member of St. Mary’s Parish, where she was a CCD teacher, lector and editor of the parish newsletter. She kept close ties with the St. Mary’s community after moving to Framingham.

Donovan was politically active during the civil rights era and Vietnam War, and she advocated on issues of poverty and, most recently, women’s issues.

She enjoyed hosting family events, watching the Boston Red Sox and the races at Saratoga, camping with her family and traveling with her husband, Bill, to Ireland, France, Canada and Cape Cod.

She took care of her son, Bill Jr., who has cerebral palsy, advocating and helping to foster his independence, her family said.

Donovan is survived by seven children, William Jr., of Westborough, Denis, of Medford, James, of Chicago, Margaret Elliott, of Guilford, Conn., Anne Donovan Potter, of Brooklyn, N.Y., Mary C., of Northampton, and John of Brooklyn; three sons-in-law, Harry Elliott, Andrew Potter and Chip Kaye; and a daughter-in-law, Paula Stamatis; two sisters, Virginia Allen, of Westerly, R.I., and Grace Rooney, of Framingham; and six grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband, William C. Donovan; a sister, Patricia Hickey; and a brother, the Rev. James Nuttall.

Visitation is 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at Britton-Shrewsbury Funeral Home. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. at St. Mary’s Church. Burial will follow at Mountain View Cemetery in Shrewsbury.

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