WORCESTER, Mass. - Elizabeth "Betty" (McCarthy) Donohue was born on the first day of spring 1916 and died on Mother's Day 2012.
She was born in Raheen, County Kerry, Ireland one of 11 children of Thomas and Margaret (McCarthy) O'Regan. She immigrated to London, UK in 1938 and worked long hours throughout World War II helping with the war effort.
It was there in 1944 that she met an Irish American sailor Hugh F. Donohue. They fell in love and married later that year. She immigrated to Worcester in 1945. Betty and Hugh had five children. Hugh and their son Thomas were awaiting her arrival in paradise when she passed away. She leaves one surviving sister, Tess Carroll, of Killarney, Ireland who visited her just 6 weeks before her passing bringing great joy to her final days.
She leaves four children, Hugh Donohue and his wife Rosemary Quagan of Leicester, Dennis Donohue and his wife Cheryl of Janesville, WI, Patricia (Donohue) Ullstrom and her husband Robert of Merrimack, NH and Kevin Donohue and his wife Frances also of Merrimack. She also leaves seven grandchildren, Beth (Donohue) Jacques and her husband Daniel, Spec. 4th Kevin Donohue, Jr. currently serving in Afghanistan, Rickie Donohue and her companion Josh Wescott of Milford, NH, Meaghan (Donohue) Wheeler and her husband Richard of Northbridge, and Caitlin, Michaela and Robert Donohue all of Janesville, WI; Seven great-grandchildren, Julie Jacques of Merrimack, NH, Trey and Starr Donohue of Milford, NH, Austin, Breanna and Keegan Westcott also of Milford and Alanna Tracy of Janesville, WI.
Betty lived her Roman Catholic faith every day and spent many hours in prayer looking after her extended family and friends as only she could. She was a constant source of strength and wisdom in difficult times and a great joy always to all who knew her. She was Aunt Betty to over 70 nieces and nephews in Ireland, America and beyond. After her husband Hugh's death in 2002 she continued to live an independent life until just 12 days before her passing. This was possible only through the special friendship of her neighbor and friend, Norma Butrym, who was with her for part of every day. Her neighbors Jerry and Betsy O'Rourke and their three children performed countless acts of kindness over the years contributing to her health and comfort for which the family will always be grateful.
She was especially proud of her perfect voting record in all city, state and national elections since she became a citizen over 60 years ago. Her family and many friends were thrilled to see her smiling face and a story about her in a 2008 issue of the Worcester Telegram. As an immigrant herself she loved meeting and welcoming all those newly arrived immigrants with whom she would come in contact. Missed by all, but never to be forgotten, Betty truly earned the peace and joy of Christ within whom she now dwells.
In celebration of her life a Mass of Christian Burial will be performed at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 551 Pleasant Street, Worcester at 10:30 Saturday, June 16. There will be no calling hours.
In lieu of flowers the family requests any memorial donation be made in Betty's name to the Community Hospice House, 210 Naticook Road, Merrimack, NH 03054 in recognition of the loving care she received during her final days.
Mulhane Home for Funerals in Millbury is assisting with the arrangements.