Thomas E. Donovan Jr. died peacefully on December 8, 2020, at Sullivan County Healthcare after a long and brave journey with dementia.
Born on October 27, 1946, to Thomas and Rita Donovan, he grew up in Concord and attended Bishop Brady High School. After graduating from Fairfield University in 1968, Tom served his country for two years in the US Army. Following his military service, he began a social work career in NH and served in that role until retiring in 2013. Sworn in on 12/4/1996, Tom served seven terms in the House of Representatives, with six terms as Vice Chair of the Health and Human Services Committee and one term on the Resource Committee. A fierce champion of justice and an unwavering advocate for the poor and disenfranchised, he made significant changes in legislation, promoting better access to services for hundreds of people. Tom leaves behind a powerful legacy to his beloved community of Claremont where he initiated and supported numerous efforts to better the lives of young and old alike. A life-long Catholic animated by his tradition’s social justice teachings, he served both St. Mary’s Church and school in various capacities as well. Tom enjoyed flowers, feeding the birds, music and thoroughly enjoyed life.
He was predeceased by his wife, Debra; he leaves behind a daughter Betsy (Shane) and stepdaughter, Jasmine Sprague; three granddaughters, Kassandra, Karlie, Sammantha; five great grandchildren, his twin sister, Rev. Terry Donovan Odell (Greg); brothers, Michael (Finola) and Bill (Kathy), numerous nieces, a nephew and many beloved colleagues and friends.
The family wishes to express deep gratitude to the staff and administration at SCNH as well as Lake Sunapee Homecare/ Hospice for the loving care that Tom received. Their dedication and caring will long be remembered.
A walk-through visitation will be held from 1:00 pm until 2:00 pm on Saturday, December 19, at the Roy Funeral Home with masks and social distancing required. A committal service will be held immediately following the visitation in St. Mary’s Cemetery, also with masks and social distancing. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Claremont Soup Kitchen, 53 Central Street, Claremont, NH 03743.
You are invited to share a memory of Tom with the family or leave a message of condolence in the family guest book at www.royfuneralhome.com.
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