Paul F. Donovan – Cumberland

Paul F. Donovan – Cumberland

Paul F. Donovan, 91, of Cumberland, passed away Wednesday, May 6, 2020, at the Roger Williams Medical Center, Providence.

He was the husband of the late Eillen H. (Mulligan) Donovan. He was a dedicated husband, father, grandfather, friend, teacher and coach, who touched the lives of many and left this world better than he found it.

Born in Providence, he was the son of the late Henry J. and Ellen (Pierce) Donovan. He resided in Cumberland for over 40 years.

Mr. Donovan received his undergraduate degree and his masters degree from Rhode Island College.

Over the span of an amazing 46 years (1955-2001), a generation of high school athletes benefited from the knowledge of the quiet and unassuming Paul Donovan nicknamed "the gentlemen coach." A La Salle graduate, where he ran track and played baseball, he earned Providence Journal All-State accolades in both areas. After graduating from Rhode Island College ('51), he played professional and semi-pro baseball for 13 seasons, interspersed with two year's service in the U.S. Marine Corps.

He began his prep coaching career at Hope High School, where he also taught English and was department head for 11 years. He coached his Blue Wave's baseball teams for 26 years, retiring in 1983. He continued his career at Moses Brown where his "Quaker Nine" went undefeated (16-0) in his first season winning SENE Championships three times. A Rhode Island Teacher of the Year ('73), he is a member of the La Salle Academy, Rhode Island College, Hope High, Moses Brown, Fox Point Boys Club and the Rhode Island Interscholastic Athletic League Halls of Fame. He won the baseball umpire's Ed Jansen Award ('96) and the baseball Coaches Associations Carl Toti Award ('89).

Mr. Donovan was an English teacher for the Providence School Department for 28 years and Moses Brown for 18 years.

He was a communicant of the St. Aidan/St. Patrick Church where he served as a lector for many years. Those that love him and grew to know him will always remember his competitive spirit, his love for the game of baseball, the art of teaching, and the meaning of family.

He leaves behind his legacy of love, his adoring daughter, Mary K. O'Connor, and her husband, Jim, of South Attleboro, Mass., his grandson, John "Jack" O'Connor; as well as several nieces and nephews. He was the brother of the late Pierce Donovan.

His funeral and burial will be private. A live stream of Paul's graveside service at Resurrection Cemetery will be available on Tuesday, May 12, 2020, at 11 a.m. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the J. J. Duffy Funeral Home, Cumberland.

The family wishes to extend their heartfelt thanks to Berkshire Place for their kind and compassionate care for Paul over the past five years.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, 200 Niantic Ave, Providence, RI 02907, or to the Moses Brown Fund, 250 Lloyd Avenue Providence, RI 02906.

For the online memorial and live stream services, visit jjduffyfuneralhome.com .