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Lou Donnelly

1946 ~ 2021 (age 74)

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Lou Donnelly, 74, of Marlborough and formerly of Boxborough passed away peacefully Sunday, May 23, 2021 at UMASS Medical Center, Worcester surrounded by loved ones. He was born in Lowell the son of the late Louis N. Zannini, Jr. and Rita D. (McCabe) Zannini. 

Lou was a 1964 graduate of Hollis High School in Hollis, New Hampshire. Shortly thereafter, Lou met the love of his life, John Donnelly. One asked the other to dance and they were together ever since. Lou and John briefly moved to Florida before making the move to Los Angeles, California. Lou worked in banking and finance until a change of pace when the couple moved to Idyllwild, California. Lou owned a smoke shop, became the President of the Chamber of Commerce, and eventually had a pet store.

After attending a family wedding in Las Vegas, the couple realized they missed family too much and decided to make the move back to New England in 1999. After settling in Boxborough, John had developed MS as well as Cancer, leading to his passing in 2007. Shortly after, Lou met Nick, a young man trying to find himself and figure out life, who sought Lou’s guidance and wisdom. Years later their roles would switch and Nick would be the one to care for Lou when he couldn’t for himself.

On his birthday in 2013, Lou had a medical emergency where he was at the brink of death but the amazing doctors and nurses at Brigham and Women’s hospital saved Lou’s life. After months in the hospital, Lou finally came home to learn how to walk again. Not being a stranger to near death experiences, Lou persevered and got back on his feet. Lou lived a quiet life with his dogs until his lung cancer diagnosis in 2020. Lou stayed strong every step of the way doing whatever was recommended so he could prolong his life as long as possible. On May 23rd, Lou had a fall at home which lead to his early passing. 

Lou was a generous person, he would do anything for his family and friends. From an early age, Lou fought to stand up for himself, so he stood up for those who needed help. Lou loved making people laugh, he was always trying to think of a witty comeback in any conversation. Lou loved animals and had rescued dozens of them over his lifetime. Lou was a special soul with an infectious personality. His presence will be deeply missed by those who had the privilege of knowing this one-of-a-kind man.

He leaves a brother David Zannini and his wife Carolyn of Lowell; six nephews and nieces, David, Anthony, Tami, James, Carolyn and Michael; his close friends, Nick Sloma and his partner Craig Green of Marlborough, and his beloved dog Bella.

All are invited to sign his online guestbook at  Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Collins Funeral Home, 378 Lincoln Street, Marlborough.


You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Lou Donnelly
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