Cover photo for Elinor Donovan Courtney's Obituary
Elinor Donovan Courtney Profile Photo
1924 Elinor 2020

Elinor Donovan Courtney

February 17, 1924 — May 29, 2020

Courtney, Elinor Donovan (Murphy), age 96 of Westwood, MA and formerly of Savannah, GA and Armonk, NY, died peacefully on May 29th. Elinor was the beloved wife of the late Alexander A. Courtney for 20 years and previously of the late Robert G. Donovan for 53 years; daughter of the late Joseph and Florence Murphy; and loving mother of five sons, fourteen grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

Elinor and her six siblings were born and raised in Cambridge, MA, where she was graduated from Cambridge High and Latin in 1942. Shortly thereafter Elinor moved to Washington, DC where she assisted in the war effort by working for the FBI. After the close of World War II, Elinor returned to Cambridge where she was married in 1946. Elinor and Bob Donovan raised five sons in Edison, NJ and later Armonk, NY, and Melbourne, Australia. Elinor and Bob had friends all over the world and traveled extensively until settling in Savannah, GA upon Bob's retirement. In their later years together Elinor and Bob lived in Westwood, where Bob died in 1999.

To the delight of her family, Elinor married Alexander Courtney in 2000. Elinor and Al spent the next 20 years together, again traveling the world, fishing in the Adirondacks, playing golf and most importantly tending to their growing brood of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Elinor was devoted to her family and that devotion was returned by her husband, her children and her grandchildren. Hardly a week went by without Elinor serving her famous apple pie to a visiting family member, each delighting in Elinor's warm embrace and unrelenting good humor. Elinor was a devout Catholic and she served as a eucharistic minister at Fox Hill Village in Westwood for many years.

Elinor is survived by four of her sons, Brian (Linda) of Boyce, VA; Robert of New York, NY; John (Denise) of Oak Park, IL and Mark (Dawn) of Westwood, MA; her oldest son Paul died in 2006. She will be greatly missed by her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She is also survived by Al's three children, Alec (Ellen) of Glenmont, NY; Bob (Marcy) of Orchard Park, NY: and Joan Murray (Bob) of Westwood, MA.

Funeral arrangements for Elinor are in the care of the Holden-Dunn-Lawler Funeral Home of Westwood, MA and will be private due to the current health crisis. A Mass of Christian burial will be held Wednesday June 3, 2020 at 10 AM at St Margaret Mary Parish in Westwood, MA (close friends and family welcome, limited attendance). The Mass will also be live-streamed at

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Elinor's name to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elinor Donovan Courtney, please visit our flower store.


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