November 10, 1930 – October 12, 2021
Nancy O’Donoghue passed away peacefully on October 12, 2021, at her home in Norwood, just one month shy of her 91st birthday.
Nancy was born on November 10, 1930, in Cambridge, and grew up in Wellesley with her parents, Fred and Floss, and brother, Dan. She went to summer camp in Wyoming, traveled across country with her family, and graduated from Bethany College in the “Hills of West Virginia.” Nancy got her taste for travel early in life and went on to visit Paris, Alaska, Jamaica, and Louisiana. She shared stories of her time at Mardi Gras in New Orleans, one of her favorite getaways.
Upon receiving her degree in biology, Nancy returned home to Wellesley and began a professional career as a lab technician. Her first job was at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, then she went on to work in a botany lab at Brandeis University for twenty-five years. Even in her “retirement,” she continued to work, tending to plants in corporate offices.
While she enjoyed her work, she had more fun after hours. Whenever possible, she would get outside – whether she was skiing Tuckerman’s Ravine in the spring, skating at the Ice House in the winter, or simply sitting in the sun in her own backyard. Nancy loved culture and creativity – from museums to musical theater, to tending her own rose garden. She had a group of lifelong friends who joined her on many adventures.
Nancy was known for giving thoughtful and quirky gifts to her nieces and nephews, including pork roasts, theater tickets, and blankets with sleeves. She would intrepidly host Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners despite a broken stove and no dishwasher. When Nancy’s father’s health, and later her brother’s health, declined, she was there to care for them.
She led a long, active life and shared her playful spirit with family, friends, acquaintances, and animals. We will hold onto Nancy’s youthful spark, her feisty spirit, and her ready laugh!
She is survived by her nieces, nephews, and their families: Steven O’Donoghue and his wife Kim and their son Griffin, all of Cumberland, RI; Janet O’Donoghue and her husband Patrick Noé of Quincy; Dianne O’Donoghue and her husband Stewart Woodward of Waltham.
Nancy was predeceased by her parents, Frederick and Florence (McPhee) O’Donoghue, and by her brother, Daniel O’Donoghue.
Visitation will be held from 10-11AM on Friday, October 22, at the Gillooly Funeral Home, 126 Walpole Street (Route 1A), Norwood. Funeral services will be held at the funeral home at 11AM on Friday, October 22, with burial to follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Needham.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Nancy’s memory to MSPCA-Angell (support.mspca.org), or to Doctors without Borders (donate.doctorswithoutborders.org).
Friday, October 22, 2021
Friday, October 22, 2021
October 18, 2021
Janet, Steven and Diane -
We were so sorry to hear of Nancy's death. We so enjoyed the years she was our neighbor here in Berkley Street and had some fun times with her and Dan. I'm sorry we won't be able to join you on Friday as we have a prior commitment. We will be there in spirit. We miss Dan and speak of him often.
Dennis and Marie