Westport Mourns Mollie Donovan — Update With Service Information And Memorial Contributions

Mollie Donovan — the epitome of volunteerism, a champion of Westport arts and history, and a warm, wonderful woman — died peacefully this morning.  She was 84.

Mollie Donovan

Mollie’s contributions were countless, passionate, and ongoing.  Even when ill, she arranged Westport Historical Society exhibits, hung paintings for the Westport Schools Permanent Art Collection, planned upcoming events, mentored younger volunteers, and set a standard for service to Westport that may be equaled, but will never be surpassed.

Mollie is survived by her husband Jack, her children and grandchildren, and a town that has benefited from a lifetime of her love, devotion and boundless energy.

A private family burial is planned on Saturday.  This Sunday (May 1, 11 a.m.to 1 p.m.) the public is invited to a Celebration of life at the Westport Historical Society.

Memorial contributions may be made to her favorite causes:

  • Westport Historical Society, 25 Avery Place, Westport, Connecticut 06880
  •  The Westport Schools Permanent Art Collection, c/o Nancy Harris, Westport Public Schools, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport, Connecticut 06880
  • The Douglas Donovan Scholarship Fund, c/o Staples Tuition Grants, PO Box 5159, Westport, Connecticut 06881-5159.

Mollie Donovan, working on a typical project with Howard Munce (left) and Eric von Schmidt. Mollie and Howard were instrumental in Eric's donation of his 7-painting "Birth of the Blues" series, which now hangs in the Staples High School auditorium lobby.

13 responses to “Westport Mourns Mollie Donovan — Update With Service Information And Memorial Contributions

  1. Michele Smolen

    I remember Molly so well and all her incredible doings for the town of Westport. She was unceasing in her wonderful giving of herself for the good of our town. Thank you Molly. Michele Smolen

  2. Mollie was an amazing woman who will be missed by many, many people. I was lucky to have worked with her when the Westport Historical Society put up an exhibit for the 50th Anniversary Westport Young Woman’s League back in May 2006. She was so helpful to those of us that had no idea how to put something like that together. The finished product was a wonderful exhibit, due in large part to Mollie’s involvement.

  3. Gale and I were the across the stream neighbors of Mollie and Jack Donovan for 26-years. There was no kinder, outgoing or efficent person than Mollie. Our sympathies are extended to Jack, Dave, Maura, Dan and Eve. The very sad Zucker’s.

  4. Linda Gramatky Smith

    Oh, this is truly sad news about wonderful Mollie! My husband, Kendall, & I have worked with her at the Historical Society and WSPAC and the Artists Awards, and she was always enthusiastic, witty, loving, knowledgable, talented. She will be missed. We knew she wasn’t well, but this final news fills us with deep sadness. Love to Jack and her incredible family. She will live on.

  5. It’s impossible to list all the projects that Mollie contributed to (often wielding a hammer and nails..) but there pieces of Art and History all through the Town that make us smile and remember her incredible energy and persistence. I always knew when Mollie called that I would end up restoring, hanging, cataloguing or inventing something meaningful for the Town. And when each project was done, it went into her big 3-ring binders, to serve as a memory — and an instruction manual — for future “mollies.” We’ll miss her…

  6. David Rubinstein

    Mollie was an extraordinary person. Her devotion to the arts in Westport has enriched all of our lives. Her boundless energy, wonderful sense of humor and compassionate nature were a joy to experience.It was a privilege to be her friend.My deepest condolences to her family.

  7. For the few years that I have known Mollie, it has always been an absolute pleasure to be in her presence. Her intelligence, drive, commitment to the arts, love of Westport and its history, sly sense of humor and her dignity define the lovely lady she has always been. She will be missed by her large family and even larger circle of friends, but we can all celebrate her life and what she has given to so many others. Leslie Greene

  8. The loss of a westport treasure. I will miss you Mollie. I am grateful we shared so many years together and wish I had at least one more trick up my sleeve for you. You will be missed by many. My best to all of the Donovans.

  9. It was always adventure to receive a phone call from Mollie about one new project or another, accompanied by a sincere apology about how incomplete or “rough” her scribbles were, only to be presented with meticulous, thorough and thoughtful research, layouts and text. She loved Westport and and the arts she loved anyone who felt the same way. The Library, Westport Schools, Historical Society, Town Hall, and countless committees, to name a few, have all been enriched thanks to Mollie’s hard work and humanity.

  10. Jim Honeycutt

    I worked on an interactive CD-ROM project with Molly, Ann Sheffer, Burt Chernow, and Leo Cirino back in the 1990’s. I was lucky enough to have a class of extraordinary computer students like Jon Von Kohorn and Randy Skattum and together we created the Westport Art Project, a project that won three state and national awards for my students. Molly was an extraordinary force in enabling this project to happen. My memories of her and this project were some of best in my 33 years of teaching in Westport.

  11. Mollie and I worked together for many years at the Historical Society planning and designing (and,yes, doing the actual grunt work) to present exhibitions that celebrated the arts and history of the wonderful world of Westport. She was always upbeat, dynamic, full of joy and creativity, intensely knowledgeable. My wife Denise and I loved her and will miss her very much. Our deepest sympathy to Jack and to all Mollie’s very large family.

  12. Estelle Margolis

    It was probaby over 40years ago when our daughter Cathy was in a Bedford Elementary class with Molly’s daughter Eve. Molly and I were in the PTA together. We worked on making the cafeteria a more cheerful place for the kids. We pasted big flowers on every chair in the place. What we didn’t know was that these paste ons were the perfect tempting place for the kids to pick on.
    Soon they told us that they were going to close Bedford El and make it into Town Hall. They had already closed four other elementary schools in town.
    With Molly and the other PTA parents we designed tee shirts that said “Bedford El Forever!” We were ready to lie down in front of the bull dozers.
    Molly was great! I knew then that this was a very special woman. We both knew that we had a deep and lasting bond. I loved Molly and we will profoundly miss her.
    Estelle T. Margolis

  13. Oh my. I sent an email to Molly a few days ago and wondered why I didn’t hear back. She’s has been my neighbor and friend for almost 30 years and she knew my parents before that. She had a passion as one of the preservers of the permanent Westport Art collection and was so very talented. Her home reflected her talent for art, cooking, and just being a mom and grandma. She even hosted parties for the neighbors who came and went… she really was a love. Thanks, Molly.. for being there with your sweet support and your lemon bars my family would fight over at Christmastime..I will miss you.