Obituaries Notices
Richard P. Howe Print E-mail

Richard P. Howe

Beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother;

Richard P. Howe, who served an unprecedented 40 consecutive years on the Lowell City Council, including four terms as mayor, died peacefully on Friday with his family by his side at the Meadows at Edgewood in North Andover where he had resided and been cared for by its dedicated and compassionate staff for the past several weeks.

Born in Lowell on December 30, 1932 to James E. Howe and Mary E. (Sullivan) Howe, Richard Peter Howe is survived by his wife Mary E. (Smith) Howe, to whom he was married for 57 years, and their children Richard P. Howe Jr. and his wife Roxane, Peter J. Howe and his wife Roseanne, and Martha E. Howe, all of Lowell. He also leaves his grandchildren Andrew P. Howe, Peter J. Howe Jr. and his wife Arielle, Kimberley Howe, Eric Howe, Emily Howe, and Rachel Howe; his two sisters, Carol M. Collins of Lowell and Katherine M. Navetta and her husband Samuel of Lowell; sisters-in-law, Mary F. Howe of Lincoln, RI, Patricia A. Howe of Chelmsford, Martha Leahy and her husband John of Nashua; a brother-in-law, Joseph P. Smith and his wife Donna of Lowell; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brothers James E. Howe and Robert A. Howe and his brother-in-law Robert A. Smith and his wife Miriam. 

Richard Howe developed a passion for baseball at a young age, spending countless hours at Highland (now Callery) Park. As a first baseman at Keith Academy, he was twice named a Catholic League All Star and in 2012 was inducted into the Lowell Catholic Athletic Hall of Fame.  Baseball won Howe a scholarship to Providence College where, from 1951 to 1955, he was frequently pictured in the Providence Journal sports page, sliding head first into home plate, bowling over catchers, or arguing with umpires. When he was drafted into the United States Army after college, he continued playing baseball as captain of the Fort Devens post team that was runner-up in the 1956 All Army World Series.

Leaving the army in 1957, Howe taught at Malden Catholic High School and then at Billerica’s Howe Junior High School while attending Suffolk University Law School at night. After graduating from law school, he served as a special agent for the Office of Naval Intelligence before returning to teaching at Lowell High School where he was also elected president of the Lowell Federation of Teachers.
Upon his election to the city council, Howe resigned his teaching position and began the full-time practice of law. The competitiveness and passion so evident on the baseball field carried over to the courtroom where Howe epitomized the concept of zealous advocacy in a legal career that spanned almost fifty years. In 1990, Howe was joined in his law practice by his daughter, Martha E. Howe, who continues to maintain the Howe Law Office in Kearney Square.  The Greater Lowell Bar Association twice named Richard Howe lawyer of the year and in 1996, the Massachusetts Bar Association presented him with its Community Service Award for his many years of public service.
A life-long member of St. Margaret Parish, Richard P. Howe found great strength in his Catholic faith. The teachings of the Dominican priests at Providence College helped guide him through life. Most weekdays, he attended Mass at St. Joseph the Worker Shrine and he and his wife Mary enjoyed travelling to religious sites in Europe with Rev. Herve Gagnon and others from Lowell.   

First elected to the city council in 1965, Howe attended his final council meeting on December 13, 2005. His council career spanned Lowell’s transformation from a place of high unemployment and blighted buildings to a national model of urban revitalization in post-industrial America.
Richard Howe considered his 1988 role in settling a lawsuit brought against the city by minority parents who alleged unequal treatment of their children in the city’s schools to be his most significant accomplishment as an elected official. With the U.S. Justice Department urging a federal judge to take over the Lowell schools, newly elected Mayor Howe convinced the judge to give him and the new school committee a chance to negotiate a settlement. They did and as a consequence of that settlement, Lowell was able to build more than a dozen new schools with 90% of the cost reimbursed by the Commonwealth.

During that same mayoral term, Howe helped ease the strain on city services caused by the sudden arrival of thousands of refugees from Southeast Asia by obtaining much-needed federal aid with the help of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy.  More importantly, Howe’s principled and practical approach to Lowell’s newest immigrants set a positive example for the rest of the city.
In his fourth term as mayor in 1994-95, Howe persuaded councilors, in the face of sharp opposition, to vote for the construction of the Tsongas Arena and LeLacheur Park; the rebirth of the Wang Towers as Cross Point; and the redevelopment of the Bon Marche building. In the aftermath of these votes, former U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas and former City Manager William Taupier wrote in the June 8, 1995 Lowell Sun, “Mayor Richard Howe deserves our admiration. A mayor needs, as never before, courage, vision, and common sense. Dick Howe has those qualities in abundance.”  
In November 2013, the city of Lowell honored Howe’s four decades of service by naming the newest bridge across the Merrimack River for him.  As the plaque on his bridge aptly states, “. . . Richard P. Howe was devoted to his family and proudly served his community and country with honor and integrity.”


Howe – In North Andover, September 25, 2015, at The Meadows, Richard P. Howe, 82, of Lowell, beloved husband of Mary E. (Smith) Howe. Friends may call at the O’DONNELL FUNERAL HOME 276 PAWTUCKET ST. at Fletcher from 3 to 8 P.M. Tuesday. Relatives and friends are invited to attend his Funeral Mass Wednesday morning at ST. MARGARET CHURCH at 10 o’clock. Burial will follow at St. Patrick Cemetery. E-condolences/directions at odonnellfuneralhome.com. Those wishing may make contributions in his memory to Boston Catholic TV, P.O. Box 9196, 39 Chestnut St., Watertown, MA 02471 or the BU Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) Center, c/o Boston University School of Medicine, 72 Concord St., L219, Boston, MA 02118. Arrangements by Funeral Directors James F. O’Donnell, Jr. and John W. Crane (978 or 866) 458-8768.   


 

 
Pamela J. DeMont Print E-mail

Pamela J. DeMont

Loving wife, mother, grandmother and sister
 
 Pamela J. (Graham) DeMont, 60, of Lowell, died Monday morning, September 21st at her home surrounded by her loving family following a long and courageous battle with cancer. She was the beloved wife of Robert P. DeMont who survives her and with whom she celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on July 28th of this year.
 Born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, October 22, 1954, a daughter of the late Joseph K. and the late Jane (Chalmers) Graham, she attended Lowell schools and was a graduate of Lowell High School in the Class of 1972.
 Before illness forced her retirement, Pam was employed as a Data Entry Specialist with Banker & Tradesman in Boston for many years.
 Among her many interests, Pam enjoyed shopping, cooking, bingo and loved watching her soap operas. She was also an expert at socializing and was known to plan, arrange and throw some unbelievable parties and functions for her family and friends. She was also an avid New England sports fan, especially of the Boston Red Sox.
 But above all else, being all about family, she cherished the quality time she spent with her grandchildren.
 In addition to her husband Bob, Pam is survived by a daughter Melissa J. “Missy” DeMont of Lowell; three grandsons Alex R., Ethan J. and Robert J. Ortiz; two sisters Janine Graham of NJ and Jo-Lynn Bubanas and her husband Andrew of Lowell; three sisters-in-law Adrienne E. Pagan and her husband Gabriel of Lowell, Theresa I. Emond and her husband Ronald of Dracut and Beverly J. Hodiak and her husband James of Lowell; two brothers-in-law Donald F. DeMont and his wife Linda of Lowell and Leon A. DeMont, Jr. and his wife Loria of Dracut; and many nieces and nephews.
 Friends may call at the O’DONNELL FUNERAL HOME 276 PAWTUCKET ST. at Fletcher from 4 to 8 P.M. on Thursday. Relatives and friends are invited to attend her Funeral Mass on Friday morning at ST. MICHAEL CHURCH in Lowell at 11:30 o’clock. Burial in St. Joseph Cemetery in Chelmsford. E-condolences/directions at
www.odonnellfuneralhome.com. Those wishing may make contributions in her memory to the American Cancer Society, 30 Speen St, Framingham, MA 01701. Arrangements by Funeral Directors James F. O’Donnell, Jr. and John W. Crane (978 or 866) 458-8768.

 
Gerald Humphrey "Gerry" Fenlon Print E-mail

Gerald Humphrey “Gerry” Fenlon

 
Loving husband, father and grandfather
 
 Gerald Humphrey “Gerry” Fenlon, 79, a lifelong resident of Lowell, died Wednesday, September 16th at Lowell General Hospital due to complications from diabetes. He was the beloved husband of Joan M. (Horan) Fenlon who survives him and with whom he celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on May 22nd of this year.
 Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, February 29, 1936, a son of the late John J. and the late Gertrude (Humphrey) Fenlon, he attended Lowell schools and was a graduate of Lowell High School in the Class of 1955.
 Gerry proudly served his country in the U.S. Army National Guard during the Korean Conflict.
 He was a communicant of St. Margaret Church in Lowell.
 Before retiring, Gerry was employed as a Real Estate Agent and Appraiser with the James L. Cooney Insurance Agency in Lowell for over 35 years. Previously, he worked at the Courier Citizen in Lowell for over 25 years.
 Gerry loved life, enjoying frequent trips to Seabrook Beach, playing golf and traveling, especially to Aruba with Joan. He was also an avid Boston Red Sox and New England Patriots fan. He was a member of the Lowell Lodge of Elks B.P.O.E. # 87 in Lowell.
 In addition to his wife Joan, Gerry is survived by a daughter Geralyn J. Snow and her husband Kenneth B. of Pelham, NH; a son Michael G. Fenlon and his wife Susan E. of Nashua, NH; four grandchildren Sean B. Fenlon, Emma R. Fenlon, Cory K. Snow and Sydney L. Snow; a sister-in-law Donna C. Lane and her husband James of Lowell, MA; and many nieces, nephews and dear friends.
 He was also the brother of the late Kevin J. Fenlon.
  Anybody who knew Gerry would tell you that whenever he met someone he didn’t know, he would always say “Gerry’s my name – Real Estate’s my game”!
 Friends may call at the O’DONNELL FUNERAL HOME 276 PAWTUCKET ST. at Fletcher from 2 to 6 P.M. Sunday. His funeral will take place from the Funeral Home Monday morning at 9 o’clock followed by a Funeral Mass at ST. MARGARET CHURCH at 10 o’clock. Burial in St. Patrick Cemetery.  E-condolences/directions at www.odonnellfuneralhome.com. Those wishing may make contributions in his memory to St. Margaret’s Renewal & Renovation Fund, 374 Stevens St, Lowell, MA 01851 or the Joslin Diabetes Center, 1 Joslin Place, Boston, MA 02215. Arrangements by Funeral Directors James F. O’Donnell, Jr. and John W. Crane (978 or 866) 458-8768. 
 
Richard K. Donahue Print E-mail

Richard K. Donahue

Aide to President John F. Kennedy,


 
Richard K. Donahue, prominent attorney, aide to President John F. Kennedy, former president and chief operating officer for NIKE, Inc., leading citizen of his beloved hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts, patriot, and devoted husband of Nancy Lawson Donahue, died Tuesday September 15, 2015 at his home in Lowell. He was 88 years old.
 
Born on July 20, 1927 in Lowell, Massachusetts, he was the son of Joseph P. Donahue, Esq. and Dorothy F. (Riordan) Donahue.
 
After his discharge from the United States Navy in 1946, Donahue received his A.B. from Dartmouth College in 1948 and his LL.B from Boston University in 1951. While attending BU Law School he met his wife-to-be Nancy Lawson on Joy Street in Boston. They were married in 1953.
 
Upon being admitted to the Massachusetts Bar, Donahue worked at the family law firm as a trial attorney focusing on criminal and civil defense. He was a highly skilled trial lawyer and became known for his proficient cross examinations. Based on peer review he was admitted as a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1970. All the while he remained active in the Democratic Party and the Greater Lowell community.
 
Donahue first met Jack Kennedy in 1952, during a political luncheon at the Rex in Lowell, when the third-term congressman was running for the U.S. Senate. "I was intrigued with him and hopped on board," Donahue said in a Lowell Sun interview. "For an Irish-American, he was the Second Coming."
 
A friend and protégé of Larry O’Brien and Kenny O’Donnell, Dick Donahue became a key player in the grass roots organizing of John F. Kennedy’s campaigns for the U.S. Senate and President.
 
In his acclaimed book The Making of the President 1960, Theodore White immortalized John F. Kennedy's team of volunteers in West Virginia, where a religiously charged primary campaign proved momentous in American political history.
 
Kennedy's team included Donahue, described by White as a "coruscatingly brilliant young lawyer from Lowell, Massachusetts."
 
In a September 2010 interview Donahue defined “coruscating”.
 
"It means 'flashing.' Teddy White was unbelievably good but the Kennedy family suspected I wrote the book," he added with a slight grin. "To be called brilliant and not have the Kennedy name after it was considered dangerous."
 
Donahue went on to serve as a delegate for Massachusetts during the 1960 Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles. Following the election Donahue was instructed by the President-elect to help Kenny O’Donnell form the staff of the new administration.
 
Donahue served as Assistant to the President in the White House from 1960 to 1963 acting as liaison between the White House and Congress. He worked alongside Lawrence F. O’Brien, Jr., Kenneth P. O’Donnell, Charles U. Daly, David F. Powers and Ralph A. Dungan – a group more commonly known as Kennedy’s Irish Mafia -- or “Murphia,” as Jackie Kennedy was known to quip.
 
In September 1963, Donahue returned to Lowell to resume his law career at Donahue & Donahue, one of the premier law firms in the Commonwealth founded by his grandfather, Daniel J. Donahue.
 
“Dick Donahue was a skillful and competent lawyer and a courageous advocate for public and legal reform,” said his close friend Paul Sugarman, one of the Commonwealth’s most successful and respected trial attorneys.
 
“He was never reluctant to be out in front of issues he believed in even though they were unpopular with the establishment. He worked for revolutionary, and much needed court reform at a time when the status quo was favored by those in charge,” added Sugarman, a former Dean and Professor of Law at Suffolk University Law School and former Chair of the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers.
 
“Dick Donahue was not only a great trial attorney who perfected the art of storytelling but also he was a lawyer's lawyer who had great respect for his profession and who firmly believed that it called upon us all to give back.  'Lawyer Donahue' -- which is how he humbly answered his phone at the office -- will be sorely missed but never forgotten" said Attorney Andrea Batchelder who worked for, and then with, Donahue for over 20 years.
 
In 1977 Senator Edward M. Kennedy charged Donahue with heading the Massachusetts Judgeship Selection Committee which was responsible for filling four vacant spots in the federal judiciary. Then in 1980, Senator Kennedy again called on Donahue this time to revive his flagging presidential campaign by assuming the leadership role for the New York state primary. Donahue’s role of managing Kennedy's successful New York primary upset of President Jimmy Carter was summed up best by Donahue “I came here in a cab. I’m going out in a limousine.”
 
Donahue held leadership and executive positions in legal associations locally, regionally and nationally. He was a former president of the New England Bar Association and two-term president of the Massachusetts Bar Association from which he received the Gold Medal in 1979. Donahue served as the Chairman of the Board of Bar Overseers and the Massachusetts Bar Association Commission on Professionalism. He also served on the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association and as chairman of the Individual Rights and Responsibilities Committee for the ABA.
 
In December 2006, Donahue accepted a three-year suspension from practicing law for allegedly crossing ethical boundaries in the Demoulas supermarket family feud in the 1990s. Donahue’s involvement in the disciplinary matter ultimately resulted in the state Supreme Judicial Court reinstating him to the bar in good standing.
 
In 1984, Donahue became a Founding Board Member of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, the non-profit organization created to provide financial support, staffing, and creative resources for the federally operated John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. A major contributor to the foundation, he served as vice chairman of the Board for 29 years.
 
As the first Chairman of the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award Committee, Donahue helped create and launch in 1989 the prestigious award for political courage that is presented annually to public servants who have made courageous decisions of conscience without regard for the personal or professional consequences. Donahue served and chaired the bipartisan committee from its inception through 1996.
 
In addition to his law career, Donahue served on the Board of Directors for NIKE, Inc. and would go on to become President and Chief Operating Officer from 1990-1994. In 2008, he retired as Vice-Chair from the board having served since 1977.
 
On June 20, 1990, the New York Times wrote, “With 11 children, Richard K. Donahue has a demanding audience, but his recent appointment as president and chief operating officer of NIKE Inc. appears to be a crowning achievement.”
 
''I have worked everywhere from the White House down. This job is the only thing that has impressed my kids,'' Donahue commented.
 
In 2004 Donahue was named Irishman of the Year by the Friends of the John F. Kennedy Library. The award was presented annually by the Friends to honor President Kennedy’s love of his own Irish heritage.
 
Recognizing this honor, Caroline Kennedy wrote to Donahue, “One of the greatest things about my father was the people he chose to help him achieve his vision for America. For both John and me, getting to know you has been one of the best ways of learning about him, and understanding the meaning of friendship that crosses the generations. This Library has been so lucky to benefit from your insight, judgment, loyalty and generosity. I want you to know that for me, you are not just the Irishman of the Year, you are the Irishman of all time.”
 
Were Donahue to be asked whom he most admired in this world, it would be his community-minded wife of 62 years, Nancy Lawson Donahue with whom he has raised 11 children. The name Donahue is synonymous with the arts and philanthropy. Together they supported and served on many non-profit boards in the Greater Lowell area. "When I think of Dick and his incredible successful life, I can't help thinking of Nancy at the same time,” said George Duncan, the founder and Chairman of the Enterprise Bank. “What they have accomplished together as a team is unmatched and the legacy they are leaving will affect our lives long into the future."
 
From 1976 to 1990 Donahue served on the Board of Trustees at the University of Lowell (now University of Massachusetts at Lowell) serving as chairman for the final three years. In 1979, the Donahues help found the Merrimack Repertory Theatre which they have supported for the last 37 years.
 
Donahue was a cofounder and chair of the Greater Lowell Community Foundation.  He also served on the board and as chair of the Lowell Plan, Inc. He was a director of The Joyce Foundation in Chicago where he served with a young attorney and community organizer named Barack Obama. He is a former director of EPITOPE, Inc. and of the Courier Corporation, and was a member of the Oregon State Board of Higher Education and on the board of visitors of the University of Oregon School of Law in Eugene.
 
Charles U. Daly, the last surviving member of President Kennedy’s Irish Mafia, was recruited by Donahue in 1988 to lead the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Foundation for the next thirteen years. When notified of his close friend’s death Daly said:
 
"Civic responsibility and public service were in Dick's blood. He brought direction and soul to every endeavor. He was as gracious to the Kennedy Library and Foundation staffs as he was to heads of state and other VIPs, always with an irreverent sense of humor and zealous passion for life.
 
“From the Library's earliest days he was a guiding force,” Daly continued. “He was always generous with his time, wise counsel and resources. Not one of the May 29th Library dinners celebrating President Kennedy's birthday really began until Dick and Nancy arrived accompanied by a family entourage including many of their 11 children, spouses and a select few grandchildren. They were fun.
 
“For more than half a century, in glorious times and sad, this special guy was a treasured friend. I will miss him until the day I die," said Daly.
 
“With all his achievements he remained modest and unassuming,” said his friend Paul Sugarman. “He was an elegant man, smart, well intentioned, practical, sincere, witty and always ahead of his time.”
 
Richard K. Donahue is survived by his wife Nancy and his 11 children Abigail (Donahue) and her husband Scott Morris of Kirkland, WA, Timothy J. Donahue and his wife Jenni of Parkdale, OR, Michael R. Donahue and his wife Elizabeth of Lowell, Nancy C. Donahue and her husband Stephen Joncas of Lowell, Richard K. Donahue, Jr and his wife Laurie of Rye, NH, Daniel J. Donahue of Lowell, Stephen J. Donahue of Burlington, VT, Christopher P. Donahue and his wife Tracy of Palm City, FL  , Tara (Donahue) Gabriel and her husband Jorge of Tyngsborough, Philip A. J. Donahue of Lowell and Alicia A. Donahue and her husband Robert L. Sheketoff of Lancaster, MA and 16 beloved grandchildren.
 
He is also survived by his sisters Dorothy (Donahue) Sullivan of Westford, MA, Catherine Donahue of Falmouth, MA, and his brother David Donahue of Winchester, MA as well as many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brothers Daniel J. Donahue of Barrington, IL, and Joseph P. Donahue, Jr of Lowell and by his sister Margaret (Donahue) Raney of Lowell, MA. He is also survived by a host of longtime friends especially his best friend Charles U. Daly.


Donahue – In his home town of Lowell, Massachusetts, September 15, 2015, Richard K. Donahue, prominent attorney, aide to President John F. Kennedy, former President of Nike, Inc. and beloved husband of Nancy L. Donahue. Friends may call for visitation at ST. PATRICK CHURCH, 282 Suffolk St. in LOWELL from 3 to 7 P.M. Monday (September 21st) and Tuesday (September 22nd). His Funeral Mass will be celebrated Wednesday morning in ST. PATRICK CHURCH at 11 o’clock. Committal Services will follow at St. Mary Cemetery in North Tewksbury. E-condolences/directions at www.odonnellfuneralhome.com. Those wishing may make contributions in his memory to the Greater Lowell Community Foundation, 100 Merrimack St., Suite 202, Lowell, MA, 01852 or the Immaculate Conception Church Bldg Fund, 3 Fayette St., Lowell, MA 01852. Arrangements by the O’DONNELL FUNERAL HOME – LOWELL – (978 or 866)-458-8768.   

 
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