Mary L. Donahue

April 17, 1915 ~ October 22, 2018 (age 103)

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PEMBROKE- Mary L. Donahue, 103, of Pembroke, passed away peacefully after a short illness on October 22, 2018 at the Merrimack County Nursing Home in Boscawen, NH where she received excellent care over the last years of her life.

Born on April 17, 1915 in Lynn, Massachusetts, Mary was the loving daughter of John Donahue and Mary Julia Donahue (Lawler).  She attended elementary school in Lynn, MA and then Manchester, NH, when the family relocated, and she graduated from St. Joseph’s High School for Girls in 1933.

She worked in the office at Felton Brush Company in Manchester.  After the sudden death of her father and the outbreak of World War II she relocated with her mother to Washington, D.C. to pursue government employment in support of the war effort.  Mary worked for the then War Department, now the Department of Defense, in the Pentagon throughout the war and thereafter.  She subsequently transferred to the U.S. Bureau of Standards with positions of increasing responsibility as a supervisor in the personnel division.  When the Bureau relocated to a new facility in Gaithersburg, Maryland she and her mother moved there in the 1960’s.  She retired in 1972 and moved with her mother, for whom she continued to care, to a new home on the Saco River in Center Conway, NH. 

After her mother’s death, she had a home built in 1984 on Academy Rd. in Pembroke, NH where she resided until 2008 when she moved to the Granite Ledges assisted living facility in Concord and subsequently became a resident of the Merrimack County Nursing Home in 2013.

Mary was an independent, accomplished women who was proud of her work history in the federal service and her Irish heritage.  She was a devout Catholic who was generous to many causes, and a communicant of St. John the Baptist parish in Suncook and a member of St. Anne’s Guild.  She was an avid gardener and an early adherent of James Rodale’s organic gardening principals.

In addition to her parents, Mary was pre-deceased by her brother Francis Lawler Donahue, late of Manchester.  She is survived by her nephew Attorney Michael J. Donahue and his wife Diane of Newington, NH; her two grand nieces Sarah Donahue and Kerry Donahue, both of Cambridge, MA, several cousins in NH, Massachusetts and Nova Scotia, and her devoted friend, Shirley Vezina of Pembroke.

As requested, there will be no calling hours.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Thursday, October 25th at 10:30 A.M. in St. John the Baptist Church in Allenstown.  Burial will follow in St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Bedford.  The family requests no flowers and if desired, memorial donations may be made to the Edna McKenna Residents Fund, c/o Merrimack County Nursing Home, 325 Daniel Webster Highway, Boscawen, NH 03303 or the NH Food Bank, 700 East Industrial Park Dr. Manchester, NH 03109.  Assisting the family with arrangements is the Petit-Roan Funeral Home in Pembroke.  To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit

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Funeral Mass
October 25, 2018

10:30 AM
St. John the Baptist Church
10 School St.
Allenstown, NH 03275

October 25, 2018

St. Joseph's Cemetery
448 Donald St.
Bedford, NH 03110

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