Robert Emmet Donohue, formerly of Westport, CT and Stratham, NH, passed away of stomach cancer in Ayer, MA on April 26th at the age of 78. No written description about him will ever be as good as what he might have written himself, but we will try.
Robert’s life was full of reinvention and exploration. Born and raised in the Inwood section of Manhattan, New York City. He was the youngest son of a large Irish Catholic family, and was sent to seminary school as a young teenager to study for the priesthood. But, while his faith would always be strong, after several years, he decided to leave that life of full devotion.
A graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University, Robert began his career in Information Technology, right at the point when computers began to drive the world. His intelligence and determination could not be ignored, and he rose through the ranks across many companies including Cheseborough-Ponds, Inc., PepsiCo, and Unilever. He was the principal owner of Global Business Information Services, Inc. and provided IT consulting to clients including Guess? Inc., Lowe’s, and Becton, Dickinson and Company. His career culminated when he joined the C-suite at Elizabeth Arden. His career brought him to many places across the world and contributed to his love for travel.
His second marriage turned out to be the partnership made for him. He and Barbara Brockelman were married 43 years, and had one child, Jessica: his pride and joy.
His commitment to his family caused him to become sober, which he had been for 37 years. Through sobriety, he became a mentor and friend to many others battling the disease, and who attribute much of their commitment and recovery to him.
At the point of retirement, Robert reinvented himself yet again and received his MFA for Fiction Writing from the University of New Hampshire. He devoted the rest of his life to writing and was published in several literary magazines and websites.
His final role as grandfather was his most beloved role, and his granddaughters will always remember him with love.
He is survived by his wife, Barbara Brockelman, his daughter, Jessica Donohue, son-in-law Ben Cuthbert, granddaughters Delaney and Eliza, siblings Marylou Harrold, William “Billy” Donohue, John “Chickie” Donohue, Christine Fernandes, Loretta “Bunny” Wilson, and many, many nieces and nephews, who count him as their favorite uncle.
And one more thing (as Robert would say): Robert will be most remembered for the love and care he provided to the people in his life. Never afraid to share his emotions, the people he loved need never doubt that love.
Family and friends may attend a period of visitation from 10:00 am to 11:00 am at Tighe Hamilton Regional Funeral Home, 50 Central Street, Hudson, MA, with a celebration of life service to take place from 11:00 am to 1:00pm. Burial services will be private.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Open Table of Maynard, MA: https://www.opentable.org/donate/