Robert J. “Bob” Donovan

September 19, 2006

Robert J. “Bob” Donovan
U.S. Veteran

US Air Force

Korean War Veteran

ROBERT J. “BOB” DONOVAN – in Woburn, suddenly, September 19th. Beloved husband of Marjorie A. (Doherty) Donovan. Devoted father of Robert J. Donovan, Jr. and Leslie A. Cotter, Kevin F. Donovan and his wife Laurie, Timothy J. Donovan, Brian P. Donovan and Susan M. O’Connor, and Michael G. Donovan, all of Woburn. Dear brother of Paul P. of Westwood and Alfred J. of Weymouth, and the late Lillian Neely and James P. Donovan. Loving grandfather of Carly and Jack. Funeral from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn, on Friday, September 22nd, at 10:15 a.m. Funeral mass in St. Charles Church, 280 Main Street, Woburn, at 11. Calling hours Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m. Interment in Woodbrook Cemetery, Woburn. Donations may be made in Bob’s memory to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, 280 Main Street, Woburn, MA 01801.


Robert J. (Bob) Donovan, 74, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, September 19, 2006. Bob was married to Marjorie (Doherty) Donovan for 46 years and has resided in the City of Woburn since their marriage.

Bob was born and raised in Dorchester, son of the late James L. and Lillian (McCarthy) Donovan. He graduated from Dorchester High School in 1949. The friendships Bob made in Dorchester remained important to him for the rest of his life. He was a loyal friend and always looked forward to their monthly gatherings that took place over the past several decades.

He pursued his studies at Northeastern University, Newbury Junior College and the Catholic Labor Guild. A veteran of the U.S. Air Force, Bob spent three years in Europe during the Korean Conflict. He was a member of the 2nd Radio Squadron Mobile (RSM) Unit, U.S. Air Force Security Service and was involved in highly sensitive and classified activity during that tour of duty.

Upon his discharge in 1955, he used his wartime communications experience to become employed at New England Telephone. During his almost forty years of employment, his leadership skills enabled him to perform numerous managerial functions, including supervising switching systems from conventional to electronic. Well respected by his colleagues, Bob served as President of the International Brotherhood of Telephone Workers Union Boston Local for three years in the 1960’s and also served as an international officer in 1967 and 68.

In 1960 Bob married Marjorie Doherty and moved to Woburn. Bob loved Woburn and immediately became an integral part of the community. He enjoyed coaching youths and maintained an active involvement in Woburn Little League, Pop Warner Football, and Woburn Youth Hockey Programs. Bob was also an athlete and enjoyed participating on the Over 30 hockey league for several years.

Bob not only made these contributions in the field of sports, but was also extremely active in other organizations. He was a dedicated member of the Woburn Lions Club. He ascended the ladder to the top rung and served as President of the organization. In 1996, in tribute to Bob’s leadership and commitment, his fellow Lions Club members unanimously voted to dedicate the 1996 Annual Halloween Parade in his honor.

With all the accolades and tributes he received, nothing could match the honor of having five wonderful and caring sons, Bobby, Kevin, Timmy, Brian and Michael, to whom he and Margie were devoted. This devotion was never more evident than when his son Tim was involved in a horrific accident and was paralyzed. Bob told his family they all had to band together and do everything possible to assist Tim. They responded with unselfish and innumerable sacrifices in helping Tim achieve his goals. Everyone who has met and known Tim knows that Bob’s request was realized. Tim summed-up his feelings for his Dad by simply stating, “My Father was my arms and legs.??? Knowing what the brothers thought of Bob they will continue to carry out his wishes.

Bob’s greatest happiness was his grandchildren, Carly, 7, and Jack, 4. He often delighted in playing and spending time with them and they filled his last days with much joy.

Bob was preceded in death by a sister, Lillian (Donovan) Neely and a brother, James P. Donovan.

In addition to his wife Marjorie, he leaves his sons, Robert J. Donovan, Jr. and Leslie A. Cotter, Kevin F. Donovan and his wife Laurie A., Timothy J. Donovan, Brian P. Donovan and Susan M. O’Connor, and Michael G. Donovan, all of Woburn, two brothers, Paul P. Donovan of Westwood and Alfred J. Donovan of Weymouth. He was also the loving and proud grandfather of Carly and Jack.

The funeral will be held from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, 263 Main Street, Woburn, on Friday, September 22nd, at 10:15 a.m., followed by a funeral mass in St. Charles Church, 280 Main Street, Woburn, at 11 a.m. Interment will follow in Woodbrook Cemetery, Woburn.

Relatives and friends are invited to call at the funeral home on Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m.

Donations may be made in Bob’s memory to the St. Vincent De Paul Society, 280 Main Street, Woburn, MA 01801.


15 Entries

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  1. Dear Margie, Bobby, Kevin, Brian, Tim, and Michael,

    How sorry we are for your loss. We consider ourselves privileged to have known Bob for 50 years.

    Please know the legacy your gentle and giving husband and Dad leaves is beautiful one. May the faith he had, live on in each of you and may you find comfort and peace from the many wonderful years you shared with him.

    With our love, friendship, and sympathy,
    Janice and Russ Brown

  2. Dear Margie, Bobby, Kevin, Tim, Brian and Michael —
    As you well know, Bob introduced us 46 years ago and whenever he would mention it (depending on who he was talking to) he’d say “Anne hasn’t talked to me since” or “John hasn’t talked to me since”.
    We have so many wonderful memories sharing time with all the Donovans – John was working with Bob when he got the call that Margie was going to the hospital to have Bobby.
    He will certainly be missed not only by us but also our kids who Bob used to say to them “If it wasn’t for me, you guys wouldn’t be here”. Bob never missed a moment to have a laugh and we will miss this as we will miss our cherished friend.
    All of you are in our thoughts.
    Much love – Anne and John McCann

  3. Jim Nagle and Daniela Albrecht,

    To Brian Donovan and Family,
    Very sorry to hear about your father. We send our thoughts and prayers to you and your family from Germany.

  4. my brother,JOHN MCCANN,called me with this sad news.I knew BOB,both in the phone co & many family events that JACK & ANNE held.It was rare that BOB & MARGIE were not there.
    BOB had a lot of IRISH charm & humor & it was a pleasure to be around him.I believe he did leave a positive mark on those he met.
    ELLIE & I send our condolences to MARGIE & the rest of the DONOVAN family.


  5. Kevin Daniel,Kyle, Kevin and Kristen Fennelly

    We are so sorry to hear of Mr. D’s passing. Our thoughts and prayers are of you.

    Special note from Kevin Daniel – Dear Uncle Louie, you are the greatest godfather in the world and I am very sorry that your dad passed away. If you need me, I am here for you.

  6. I was extremely saddened to hear of the loss of my uncle Bob. I will always remember all the Thanksgivings at Safford Street and the Christmas get-togethers.Most of all-his smile! My thoughts are with you all. Sue Sullivan

  7. Phyllis & Gene Doherty
    Dear Margie & boys…..Hearing of Bob’s passing was a tremendous shock to us. He was such a great guy…we go back to when Bob & Margie were courting each other and had good times on the Cape. Bob ALWAYS wore a big smile, ALWAYS left you laughing…and was inevitably involved in one organization or another. A very bright light has gone off.
    God Bless you all..Phyllis & Gene Doherty, Sebastian, FL

  8. Joe Finnegan, Naples Fl
    I was shocked this morning as I read the Globe on line here in Florida. Bob was a great friend. We played together on the “Wildcats” and when I was in Boston this past July I saw him at lunch at the Firemens in Dorchester. The lunch group won’t be the same without him. He will be missed by all. My wife Hildi and I will remember him in our prayers.

  9. I am so glad I got the chance to sit down and talk a while with Mr. Donovan just a couple weeks ago before heading out to a concert with Tim. He was consistently a great guy who always showed interest in how you and your family were doing. He took great care of his family, and I pray that God give strength to his family to now take care of each other.

    We’re going to miss you, Mr. Donovan. May God welcome you the way you welcomed so many who came to visit your house…, with a smile, and a “come on in, and make yourself at home???.

  10. Dear Kevin,
    We are so sorry to hear about your father. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Joe Jackman
    Warren Olsen
    Scott Lambert
    Matt Cummings
    From “SLIDER”

  11. Dear Kevin, Laurie & Family,
    I am deeply sorry about your loss. I only got to see your father on special occasions. He always was always smiling and happy. It was evident how much he loved his grandchildren. He will missed by many. My deepest sympathy to all of you.
    Mary Nelson

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