Anne (Nancy) Donohue Reid
Anne (Nancy) Donohue Reid passed away peacefully and surrounded by loving family on March 21 in Barrington, Rhode Island. She was predeceased by her beloved husband James in 2013. She is survived by her son James and her grandson James Elijah, of Spencer, West Virginia; her daughter Margaret and her grandson Daniel, of Barrington, Rhode Island; and her son Gerald, her daughter-in-law Colleen, and her granddaughters Claire, Catherine, and Erin, of Harpswell, Maine. She was predeceased by her brother John, and she is survived also by her brother Gerald Donohue (Belle) of Stratford, her sister-in-law Rosemary Donohue of Melbourne Beach, Florida, her cousin Mary McCarren of Bronxville, New York, and many nieces and nephews.
Nancy was born to the late Agnes Carmody Donohue and Gerald Donohue in New York City on Jan. 7, 1932. She fondly recalled her childhood in Pelham, New York, where she enjoyed the love and companionship of her parents, brothers, and neighborhood friends. She especially loved her days at Pelham’s Hutchinson Elementary School and the Ursuline School.
Nancy began studying languages at the College of New Rochelle, but switched course to study education after the premature death of her mother, which affected her deeply. Nothing was as important to Nancy as home, as a child and as an adult. While she treasured memories of travel, she was always happiest when she could come home at night. Graduating from college in 1953, she then taught primary school in Eastchester, New York, for several years, while living with her father and studying for her master’s in education, which she received from Columbia University.
In 1959, on an uncharacteristically warm and beautiful Jan. 3, Nancy married her local and longtime sweetheart, James D. Reid, and gamely headed out to Seattle, Washington, where he was in graduate school. Nancy continued her teaching career there and would often fondly recall her students from both Eastchester and Seattle.
Nancy was happy to return from Seattle once her husband had finished school. Missing the east and her family, she and Jim next lived in Syracuse, New York, Amherst, Massachusetts, Milford, and Fayetteville, New York, before settling in Killingworth in 1969 with their three children. Killingworth would remain home for the Reids for more than 50 years. After having children, Nancy devoted herself to her family and loved being a stay-at-home mother. She gave of herself to her family and community in countless ways, including volunteering in St. Lawrence Parish and at the Connecticut Hospice. She often said that having a family was what she wanted and valued most in the world. Nancy’s dedication to her husband, children, and grandchildren, was boundless.
As a mother, she was lively and fun, enjoying adventures as well as quiet times at home. Awake early in the morning, Nancy always had lists of projects. As her children grew up, she loved tending to plants, creating pottery and art, and tending to jobs that needed fixing. She was proud to earn the nickname “the fix-it Grammie” from her granddaughters. She loved the family pets and shared with them generously.
In later years, Nancy felt very fortunate to be able to spend summers in Maine. As she and Jim saw their family grow to include her beloved grandchildren, treasured memories were made with walks in the fields or at the point, lunches at the lighthouse, and laughter around the dining room table. Nancy carefully appointed the house for the comfort of each member of the family, including spreading lovely children’s books around the rooms to entice her grandchildren to “hop up” and listen to a story with her.
She was a quiet but ardent feminist, valued loyalty and justice, and she had a special place in her heart for the underdog. More than anything else, she worked to bring happiness to her family. She was the sun they revolved around. She loved, she worried, she believed, she gave, and she loved some more.
Due to COVID-19, funeral services, including a Mass of Christian burial, will be private, and a celebration of her life will take place in brighter times. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Nancy’s name to her preferred charities, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Autism Speaks, or the Pine Tree Society/Pine Tree Camp (Maine), are welcome.