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Anne Marie Donovan

April 4, 2018

We are sorry to share that Anne Marie Donovan passed away on April 4, 2018. Anne Marie proudly hailed from the hills of Boisdale where she was lovingly raised by her parents Roderick and Sarah (MacNeil) O’Handley. From Boisdale she moved to Sydney to work at St. Rita’s Hospital, met her husband, Joseph Donovan and in time they settled into a full life in Big Pond which was shared with an abundance of family and friends. She loved the 50 years she spent in Big Pond watching over everybody from her perch on top of the hill. Both Boisdale and Big Pond always remained to be her favorite places in the world. Anne Marie’s recipe for life…Start with a heart full of kindness, a cup full of love, a good bunch of laughter and a healthy dash of sarcasm. Work well with your hands and double the batch in case somebody drops in. Her family and friends were blessed by her enduring strong spirit, ability and faith to handle all that she was asked to in life. Anne-Marie loved Cape Breton scotch music, was a lively step dancer back in the day and joined in many a square set at the dances in Boisdale and Big Pond. She dedicated years of service to the Community of Big Pond through her tireless volunteer work with the Ladies Auxiliary (of which she was a founding member), Big Pond Concert, Parish Council, Home and School, as well as the Cancer Society and being an Eucharistic Minister. She was very proud of years working at Rita’s Tea Room and loved the camaraderie she shared with her co-workers there. To visit Anne Marie’s home always meant a full cup of whatever you fancied, a feast filled with a variety of homemade cooking and baking. To this day many stand in awe at how she could feed a crowd on a just a moments notice. Survived by her daughters, Cheryl, Patricia (Gary Taylor), Jo-Anne (Chris White) and Kimberley Crowe, along with her cherished grandchildren, Amanda, Liam (Chelsea), Mary-Sarah and Daniel; lifelong friends, Anne Thomas, Melvin White, Lloyd and Christie White, as well as numerous step-grandchildren; her brothers, John O’Handley, Roy (Cecilia) O’Handley and Leonard O’Handley; sister, Kathleen (John Allan) MacNeil; sisters-in-law, Dena O’Handley, Marie (Anslem) Doyle, Anne (Bernie) Gouthro and Heather Donovan; brothers-in-law, Terry (Sharon) Donovan, Dennis (Carolyn) Donovan and Shaun (Debbie) Donovan. Anne Marie was predeceased by her husband of 41 years, Joseph Donovan; father, Roderick O’Handley; mother, Sarah Jessie O’Handley; brother, Gerard O’Handley; sister-in-law, Valerie O’Handley; mother-in-law, Mary Donovan; brothers-in-law, Gerald Donovan and Patrick Donovan, and son-in-law, Michael Crowe. Visitation will take place at St. Mary’s Parish Church, Big Pond on Friday, April 6 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday at 10 a.m. with funeral to follow in Big Pond at 11:00 a.m. Burial to take place at a later date. The family would like to sincerely thank the Big Pond Fire Department first responders, the caregivers from Vital Air, the emergency department and Palliative Care Unit of the Cape Breton Regional Hospital. Donations may be made in Anne Marie’s memory to the Big Pond Fire Department or the Horizon Achievement Centre New Building Fund. Join us for a cup of tea at the Big Pond Community Hall after the service. Be it a little or a lot, all that she had was for sharing with others. Mom would it love if you kept kindness in your heart and a skip in your step as you continue your journey in life. 

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