Enjoyed the beach, painting classes and travel

Published January 22, 2020

WAKEFIELD — Joan Marie O’Donnell, 90, a longtime Wakefield resident, died Monday, January 20, 2020 at the Bear Hill Nursing Home.

Born in Bayonne, N.J. on March 16, 1929, she was the daughter of the late David and Eleanor (Fitzpatrick) Donovan.

Mrs. O’Donnell was raised and educated in Bayonne, N.J. and was a graduate of Holy Family Academy, Class of 1948. In 1951 she married her husband, the late James E. O’Donnell, and they began their family. Together they raised their eight children in Bayonne, Elizabeth and Cranford, N.J. before she retired to Pasadena, Calif.

Mrs. O’Donnell’s greatest joy was to be at the beach; she loved the sand and the ocean, but after some time in California, she decided to move back to the East Coast to be closer to family. She settled in Wakefield 27 years ago and quickly became involved in the Senior Center where she loved the painting classes and she was also a member of the Red Hat Society. She never missed a sale at The Barn in Stoneham or The Jumble in Cranford, N.J.

Mrs. O’Donnell loved to travel, most especially enjoying a trip to Ireland with her sisters. Above all, her most cherished role was as a grandmother. She was the beloved “Nanny,” “Grandma,” “ShaMa,” and “AnMa” to 10 grandchildren.

She was the beloved wife of the late James E. O’Donnell. She was the loving mother of Denise Lutz and her husband Paul of Boxford, James O’Donnell Jr. and his wife Kathy of Philadelphia, Brian O’Donnell of Olean, N.Y., Michael O’Donnell and his wife Linda of Garwood, N.J., Joan DeGregorio and her husband Tony of Wakefield, Eileen Casto and her husband Tim of Andover, Robert O’Donnell and his wife Karen of Allston, and the late John O’Donnell.

She was the sister of Helen Moran, Richard, James and Raymond Donovan all of N.J., and the late David, Billy, Jackie, Claire, Maureen and Bobby Donovan and Eileen Conair. She was the beloved grandmother of Tara, Tommy, Suzanne, Lindsay, Sean, Eileen, Anna Joy, Nathan, Maggie and Grace; and great-grandmother of Sonora and Oihana. She is also survived by many nieces and nephews.

Her funeral will be held from the McDonald Funeral Home, 19 Yale Ave., Wakefield on Saturday at 10 a.m., followed by a funeral Mass in Most Blessed Sacrament Church, 1155 Main St., Wakefield at 11 a.m. Visitation for relatives and friends will be held at the funeral home on Friday from 4-7 p.m. Interment will be at a later date.