Irene Donovan

Irene Helen Donovan

Sunday, February 23rd, 1941 - Wednesday, January 29th, 2020
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Irene “Rene” Donovan
Irene “René” (Lamothe) Donovan of South Yarmouth died on January 28 at the Pat
Roche Hospice Home in Hingham, after brief illness. She was 78.
A native of Scituate, Rhode Island, she was an accomplished artist and novelist, two
interests she pursued after retiring from a career as a graphic designer, illustrator and muralist.
Although she had lived in South Yarmouth for a number of years, she was not a “typical”
Cape Cod artist. Her paintings depict worlds that are both profound and whimsical yet they
incorporate sights familiar on the Cape’s curving arm of land: the sea, shoreline, river marshes
and meadows; dolphins, whales, crows, ducks; flowers, stones and sand. She called them
Ms. Donovan began painting as a child and never studied art formally. From the first
grade until her high school graduation she was known as “the class artist.” She began painting
murals for friends in their children’s bedrooms and later did them commercially in homes and
Her first novel, “Me ’n God in the Coffee Shop” was published in 1998 to popular
acclaim. She explained how the novel came to be.
“I used to go to a local coffee shop to write. One morning I was sitting there and thought
‘what would happen if “God” walked in, sat down and we started talking.’ That was the seed of
an idea that would not let go of me.” Ms. Donovan wrote two more novels, both published, and
was working on a fourth novel at the time of her death.
“The Daughters of Time” (2014) moves between characters in the present day to
Concord, Massachusetts in 1842, where the past and present meet. “The Stone Children” (also
2014) begins with the liberation of the Buchenwald Concentration Camp and moves through
time to the devastating events of 9/11. She also did the cover illustrations.
Her books and her art reflect her positive view of life in our complex world: “I believe in
the interconnection of all life and see that if you destroy one part all parts are adversely affected.
If we can know and feel that there is something wonder-filled in this astounding universe and in
us, we can experience joy and peace. This philosophy surrounds both my art and my writing.”
Ms. Donovan is survived by her son Mark Donovan (and husband Christopher Donnelly ) of Boston,
her daughter Katrina Fleming (and husband Ryan) of Framingham, her sister Doris Kamphuis of
Michigan and two nieces. She was preceded in death by her parents Margaret and Henry
Lamothe and her sister Annette Devinney .
Donations in her name may be made to the Pat Roche Hospice Home in Hingham or the
New England Society for Abandoned Animals in Osterville. A memorial service will be held at a
later date. Funeral Arrangements were made by the Bartlett Funeral Home of Plymouth.

Obituary lovingly written by her dear friend Pamela Blevins
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No funeral details available.


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Private Condolence

Katrina Fleming

Posted at 12:41pm
I miss you Mom.


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