Lucia's Story

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STONINGTON - Lucia Donovan, 96, of Stonington, passed away peacefully at the home of her daughter and son-in-law on June 1, 2015. Born in Stonington on June 29, 1918, she was the daughter of the late Emilia and Giuseppe Leali.

Lucia graduated from Stonington High School in 1935 and was a member of the girls' basketball team. She fondly spoke of ferry rides and overnights at opponents' homes. She had a variety of jobs, which included serving school lunch, ironing clothes for summer campers, and most recently, book-keeping and cooking for the late William and Emily Muir (a job she held for over twenty-five years).

In 1940, she married William Donovan, and after living in Portland for three years, they returned to Stonington and made their home on School Street for over 60 years. Here the couple enjoyed Saturday night card games with friends and later, weekly games with the "card sharks" at the Community Center. Lucia was playing cards up until a few weeks before her passing.

An avid walker, Lucia walked everywhere she needed to go well into her 80s. In recent years, Lucia's porch was the hub of her social activity as she enjoyed visitors from the Stonington Farmers' Market, the Stonington Six, and the playground. One could always depend on homemade desserts when visiting. Favorite pastimes included reading, crossword puzzles and discussing the Red Sox with her brother-in-law, Edward Blackmore.

Lucia loved her family and savored being in the know of family happenings. She was so appreciative of being included in family gatherings on the island and in Yarmouth.

Lucia was predeceased by her parents, her beloved husband in 2007, her brothers, Andrew and Dominic Leali; nephew, Robert Leali; mother-in-law, Bertha Barbour; sisters-in-law, Dorothy Parker, Henrietta Leali, Betty Leali and June Mercier. Predeceased brothers-in-law include James and Gerard Donovan, Norman Parker and Fred Mercier.

She is survived by her daughter, Carol Hamalainen and husband, Don of Yarmouth, ME; granddaughter, Beth Smithson and husband, Kevin of Àndover, MA; granddaughter, Bonnie Hamalainen and partner, Jamie Barnett of Baltimore, MD; great-grandchildren, Lucia and Andrew Smithson; sister, Mary Blackmore of Stonington; sister-in-law, Caroline Donovan of South Berwick; and many loving extended family members.

Lucia relied on the kindnesses of many in Stonington where she lived until 2013, and later in Yarmouth. These include Sally and Curt Haskell, Sharon and Blaine Blackmore, Cheryl Gross, Audrey Hamblen, Velma and Don Trundy, Lori Leali of St. Augustine, FL and other extended family and friends. In recent months, she was well cared for by the VNA Hospice of Southern ME with Lynn, Joan and Maryann, and caregivers Evelyn, Margot, Pam and David.

A memorial Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, June 6 at 11 a.m. at Saint Mary's Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Stonington. Following the burial at the Catholic Cemetery on Cemetery Road, a reception will be held at the church hall.

In lieu of flowers, those who wish may make a donation to a charity of their choice.
Published on  June 4, 2015
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