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Thank you for your support during this difficult time. Please enhance this tribute to Peter by adding your memories and photos.

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Joyce Funeral Home

245 Main Street
Waltham, MA 02453
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Memories & Candles

“I was very sorry to see that Peter has died. I grew up on White St. in Belmont and as a child spent many hours playing in Pequossette Field, where...Read More »
1 of 10 | Posted by: Helen (Stevens) Ahearn - Falmouth, MA

“I always enjoyed painting with Peter at the Cape Cod art Association. Please accept our deepest sympathy for your loss. ”
2 of 10 | Posted by: Susan McLean - Osterville, MA

“I am very sorry to hear of Professor Donovan's passing. He was a wonderful teacher, and highly motivating - you would be well suited to not walk...Read More »
3 of 10 | Posted by: Melissa (Hegger) Shea - Waltham, MA

“Mrs. Donovan, Mark and KristenDeepest sympathies from the Ryan family. I always enjoyed seeing Mr. Donovan at the football and basketball games so...Read More »
4 of 10 | Posted by: Chris Ryan - Braintree, MA

“Peter's death is a tremendous loss to his immediate family, his wife, son, daughter in law and grand-children.It is also a tremendous loss to another...Read More »
5 of 10 | Posted by: Michael Hutter - Albany, NY

“As a former attorney, judge and member of Peter's Talking Sports group, I came to truly admire his vast knowledge and passion for the law, for sports...Read More »
6 of 10 | Posted by: Brian Friedman - East Sandwich, MA

“I'm very sorry for your loss. I am a family friend of the Scrivener's from CT and I was fortunate to work in the law school while I attended BC. ...Read More »
7 of 10 | Posted by: Colleen Borger O'Connor

“Our sincere condolences to Peter's family and to his "other family" the Scriveners. I know he was a wonderful friend to my brother, Carl and his wife...Read More »
8 of 10 | Posted by: Carol+Tom Chapman - Duxbury, MA

Professor Donovan in 1985 at our BC Law graduation class picnic “I have such fond memories of Professor Donovan from Boston College Law School. My classmates from 1985 and many years of BC Law classes were lucky...Read More »
9 of 10 | Posted by: Jennifer Dempsey - Mansfield, MA

“To the Donovan Family Please accept my deepest sympathies. You are in my thoughts and prayers Sincerely Michael Sullivan BCLS 1985 ”
10 of 10 | Posted by: Michael Sullivan - Cambridge, MA


Barnstable – Mr. Peter A. Donovan, formerly of Newton, died on Saturday, February 25, 2017 after long standing health issues. He was 81.

Peter's death is mourned by his wife of fifty-five years, Eleanor (Dill) Donovan; his son, Mark, daughter-in-law, Kristen (Holt), his grandchildren, Kathryn, John, and Emma. He is also survived by his brother, Walter of Marlborough and other friends and family.

Peter was born in Boston a son of the late Walter and Kathryn (Breen) Donovan. Raised in Belmont he graduated from St. Mary's High School in Waltham. He earned degrees from Boston College, Boston College Law School, Georgetown University Law School and Harvard Law School. As a student at Boston College Law School, he was editor-in-chief of Volume One, Number One of the Boston College Industrial and Commercial Law Review, member of the Order of the Coif, and graduated first in the class of 1960.

He was selected as an Honor Recruit in the United States Department of Justice where he became a trial attorney in the Anti-Trust Division. After three years, he received a Ford Foundation Grant to become a Fellow in Law Teaching at Harvard Law School. He began his teaching career at the University of Connecticut Law School and then returned to Boston College Law School where he taught from 1966 to 2002. He was the youngest faculty member to receive tenure status. He loved his life as a teacher and as faculty adviser to the international and national moot court teams. He was a visiting professor at L'Universite de Paris and at the East China Institute of Politics and Law in Shanghai. He published frequently in various law journals.

The Boston College Law School Alumni Association honored him in 1998 by awarding him their Special Service Award. Recently, the Class of 1981 paid tribute to him at their thirty-fifth reunion. Upon his retirement he became an enthusiastic artist, a panelist on a local cable show, "Talking Together,' and a member of a weekly sports' discussion group, Talking Sports. Throughout his life, he was a season ticket holder and avid fan of Boston College football, basketball, and hockey teams.

Family and friends will honor and remember Peter's life by gathering for calling hours in The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street (Rte. 20), Waltham on Friday, March 3rd from 4 to 8 p.m. The funeral will be held on Saturday, March 4th in Trinity Chapel on the campus of Boston College Law School, 885 Centre Street, Newton where his Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Burial is private.

Gifts in memory of Professor Peter Donovan may be made to Boston College Law School in support of the oral advocacy programs that were so dear to his heart. Donations may be mailed to Christine Kelly, Director Alumni Relations, Cadigan Alumni Center, 140 Commonwealth Ave, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467.