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Hugo F. Donatelli

Born: Mon., Sep. 15, 1941
Died: Sat., Sep. 5, 2015


Graveside Service with Military Honors


Memorial Service

10:00 AM Sat., Sep. 19, 2015
Location: South Coast Chapel Mortuary


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Hugo Francis Donatelli, 73, of East Freetown, MA, died unexpectedly in his home on September 5th.  His last days were sun-filled and happy, having just celebrated his 49th wedding anniversary on September 3rd, with his wife, Alice, and daughter, Liz. Hugo met Alice in Boston in 1966, proposed to her soon after on Carson Beach in South Boston, and wed her 6 month's later at St. Francis of Assisi in New Bedford, MA.  
 
Hugo was born in Spangler, PA to (the late) Hugo G. Donatelli and Rita (Donahue) Donatelli. Hugo spent his childhood in Patton, PA, until joining the U.S. Navy in 1960. Hugo spent 9 years in the U.S. Navy, and was a Vietnam veteran.  He served at the U.S. Embassy in Morocco and the Armed Forces Police in Boston before becoming a First Class Commissaryman (CS1), preparing upwards of 1000 meals a day for his shipmates.  He served on several vessels including S.S. Weeks, the S.S. Worden and the S.S. Essex.  With the Navy he traveled the world, eventually settling in East Freetown in 1969 to start a family and a new career in restaurant management.  He was a manager for Howard Johnson's for almost 20 years. In 1975, he was recognized as Manager of the Month out of 850 stores and was awarded a brand new car.  He spent most of his career with Hojo's in West Quincy, where he ran their 'test kitchen'.  In 1988, he started his very own restaurant, Hugo's, in East Freetown, home of the famous Hugoburger. In this small building, his all take-out menu included over 100 items, most made in-house, with regular customers coming from surrounding towns year round.  
 
His restaurant was his passion, he loved to cook and see his customers return for more.  Hugo had his restaurant for 16 years before retiring, where he still got up every day and planned meals for his small family, cooking enough for a ship, and often sending extras to his neighbors.  He took great care in his product, as he did with his family and friends.  When his wife was diagnosed with cancer, shortly after he retired, he stayed by her side, and loved her back to good.  She has been 11 years cancer free.  
 
When he wasn't cooking, he enjoyed spending time at the YMCA in Wareham where he met many good friends.  He also enjoyed weekly lunches with friends from the Y, the E. Freetown Senior Citizens, and the VFW, where he was a lifetime member. He loved to make photo-shows of time spent with friends and family around the dinner table, and would email his best friends in PA daily, sharing recipes and pictures.  He enjoyed watching the Red Sox and the Patriots with his wife in between prepping for their next meal.  He loved his home on Long Pond where he would sit on the porch on sunny days in any season.  Most of all, he loved life, he worked hard for everything he had and enjoyed the life he built for himself and his family.  He was a kind and caring man with a hearty laugh, and truly believed the simple things in life were the best things... "A hot-dog at the ballpark is better than a steak at the Ritz", his favorite quote from Humphrey Bogart.   
 
He leaves behind his wife Alice (Besse); daughter, Liz of South Boston, MA; brothers Mike Donatelli of New York, NY; Randy Donatelli of Maplewood, NJ; and Alan Donatelli of Buffalo, NY; brother-in-law, Willard Besse of West Wareham, MA and his wife, Joan; nephew Karl Besse, and niece Kimberly Besse both of West Wareham, MA; and many close friends.
 
Services will be held on September 19th at 10a.m. at the South Coast Chapel Mortuary, 158 Middleboro Rd (Rt.18) in East Freetown, MA.  A grave side military service will be held at Noon at White's cemetery in East Freetown with reception to follow at 1p.m. at Boston Tavern in Middleboro, MA.  In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Rescue Unit of the Animal Rescue League of Boston ( 10 Chandler St, Boston, Ma 02116 ), or the charity of your choice. For online condolences please visit www.southcoastchapel.com

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