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Obituaries

November 2, 2013

Roberta T. Donnelly, 84

Gloucester, MA — Roberta T. (Cutting) Donnelly, October 28, 1929-October 30, 2013.

Our beloved Mom, Roberta, passed away while a quartet sang God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch of World Series Game Six. We believe that she was so confident in a Red Sox win that she wanted to hurry to heaven to celebrate with Dad.

Born Roberta Cutting and the first of twins in 1929, Mom grew up in Baldwinville, Massachusetts cherishing a deep appreciation for family, the Catholic Church, humor and practicality. She graduated from Regis College with a degree in nutrition and completed her dietary internship at Beth Israel Hospital.

On March 22, 1952, on a blind date, she met Walter Donnelly and began her six-decade love story. Married on October 10, 1953, Roberta and Walter settled in Stoneham where they raised their eight children.

Every dinner was home-cooked, nutritious and was followed by a home-baked dessert. Every school lunch was packed and cookie jars were always filled. Every birthday was celebrated with a creative, personalized cake. She was a pioneer for healthy eating and organized a food cooperative for neighborhood families in the 1970s. She sewed clothes for her taller than average daughters and made sure all of her kids could bat against a left-handed pitcher.

Roberta worked as a clinical dietitian in a number of facilities before her retirement. She volunteered as a CCD teacher and later as an ESL tutor and, after retirement to Gloucester in 1992, a tutor and money manager for seniors. Together with Walter, she shared her wisdom, patience and experience through church-based marriage preparation classes. In retirement she and Walter enjoyed trips to Europe, the theatre, cruises and visits with family.

Roberta had a knack for getting the giggles in some of the most unexpected situations. She made friends wherever she went.

Her beloved husband, Walter, preceded her in death in 2010. Dear friends, her twin brother, Robert, eight children and twelve grandchildren survive Roberta. Her lessons of love, humor and practicality are shared by daughters, Kathleen Reinig and husband, August, of Pleasanton, CA; Jane Alexiadis and husband, Vassili, of Berkeley, CA; Annette Donnelly and husband, Hedrick Ellis, of Arlington; Sheila Donnelly of Oakland, CA; Alicia Donnelly Kessler and husband, Joe, of Gloucester; three sons, Walter (Ted) Donnelly and wife, Karen, of Maineville, OH; Tom Donnelly and wife, Mary Ann, of Pleasanton CA; Bob Donnelly and wife, Lorraine, of South Harwich; and twelve grandchildren, Marie Donnelly of Berkeley, CA; Liz Donnelly of Brooklyn NY; Theresa Heberling of Jacksonville, FL; Colleen Donnelly of Pleasanton, CA; Kevin, Ryan and Erin Donnelly of Columbus, OH; Sarah Donnelly of Harwich, MA; Vince Donnelly of Logan, Utah; Aleksey Reinig of Pleasanton, CA and Grace and Jamie Ellis of Arlington.

Visitation Sunday, November 3, 4-6 p.m. at Keefe Funeral Home, 5 Chestnut St., (Route 60, adjacent to St. Agnes Church) Arlington; Funeral Mass Monday, 10 a.m. at St. Eulalia’s Church, 50 Ridge St., Winchester. In lieu of flowers the family suggests contributions to St. Vincent de Paul Society, 18 Canton St., Stoughton, MA 02072 or Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly, 3305 Washington St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130.

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