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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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Condolence Booklet

   Posted Sun September 06, 2015
Alice and Liz,
Special thoughts and prayers for you during this difficult time.

Jack and Marcia
   Posted Mon September 07, 2015
Alice and Liz, Praying God comfort you.

Jack and Marcia

Elsie & Jim
   Posted Tue September 08, 2015
Alice and Liz. Wish you were next ddoor so we could be with you. But our thoughts and prayers are, and will aĺways be, with you.

Laurel Fernandes
   Posted Tue September 08, 2015
Alice, I am thinking of you with friendship & love. I will miss Hugo's stories and laughter. He was a joy to be around. My sincere sympathy to you and your family.

Gary and Patty
   Posted Tue September 08, 2015
We are so saddened to hear of Arkie's passing. He was a great guy. So full of life and fun. We will surely miss his emails and photos. Please know that you and Liz are in our thoughts and prayers. All our love.

   Posted Wed September 09, 2015
Alice & Liz
I really enjoyed my years of moments with Hugo, always good. Need anything please call.

Ron and Judy
   Posted Wed September 09, 2015
Alice and Liz,
We are so sad to lose our good friend. Please know we are thinking of you
and are keeping you both in our prayers.

Laurel Biasiucci Mathis
   Posted Wed September 09, 2015
Liz, I'm so sorry to hear of your dad's passing. The obit was a very nice tribute. He sounded like a wonderful man! Thoughts and prayers to you and your family during this most difficult time. May your loving memories bring you peace!


Tracie Kosakowski
   Posted Thu September 10, 2015
Dear Liz,
So sorry to hear of your father's passing. My condolences to you and your family.

Elizabeth Murray
   Posted Thu September 10, 2015
I am so very sorry for your loss. My most heartfelt sympathies and condolences to you and your mom.

Anita Bagg
   Posted Thu September 10, 2015
Liz and family, so sorry to hear this very sad news. My thoughts and praryers are with you and your family. Remember, he lives on in you forever. Sincerely, Anita

Jen (Seymour) Rothman
   Posted Thu September 10, 2015
Dear Liz,
Your dad was one of a kind. He literally had a twinkle in his eye and so much love and laughter that I always felt so loved around him. I remember how much he loved to cook and how he showed my mom how to cook the best roast possible.

Sending love to you and your mom during this difficult time.
Love, Jen

Jim & Barbara
   Posted Thu September 10, 2015
A friend makes you laugh, shares good times, shows kindness, & displays concern for others. Arkie had all of these qualities & many more. We will miss him but we will find comfort in many cherished memories. Alice & Liz we share in your sorrow and keep you in our thoughts and prayers.

   Posted Thu September 10, 2015
Alice and Liz as I sit and read this obituary with tears running down my cheeks, I smile so big with all the wonderful memories we shared growing up! There were so many! I laugh with my own family telling them so many stories because they know you and your Dad because of the connection that holds us together, even though we are grown. Although Liz, you and Jono never did have your "marriage and poodles" we share a special bond. In times of sadness and sorrow it helps to remember... Sending all my love to you

   Posted Thu September 10, 2015
Alice and family....my sincere condolences in the loss of Hugo. He was a friend and "Y" partner. We will miss him coming around the corner at the Y and saying...: All Rise.... We will miss his smiling face and the love he shown everyday for his beautiful wife Alice. My thoughts and prayers are with you always and I know Hugo is looking down and smiling at all of us.

Ginny Toseki
   Posted Thu September 10, 2015
Alice and Liz:
You are both in my thoughts and prayers. Peace and comfort to you both.

Tom Monaghan
   Posted Fri September 11, 2015
Our deepest sympathy to Alice and Liz. Hugo's presence at the Gleason YMCA lit up a room.
His love of life inspired us all.
So sorry
Tom and Sheila

Gerri, Vic, Michele & Dana
   Posted Fri September 11, 2015
Alice & Liz
Words cannot express how we are all feeling, we have lost one of our extended family members. We will miss his smile, his laugh and good nature not to mention the love he had for having a good time. One of our passions that we all had together was eatting good food . We are so happy we spent alot of time with him this summer. We know your somewhere smiling and enjoying what you do and sharing all your secret recipes. Take this recipe to the bank HUGO you will never be forgotten in the Barrows household and we will look after Alice and Liz.

Love and Miss You Already...

Bill and Ellen
   Posted Sat September 12, 2015
Alice and Liz

Hugo was such a wonderful happy person. We loved hearing how he prepared various dishes. You could tell he loved to cook. He certainly will be missed.

Sandy and Bob Bettencourt
   Posted Sun September 13, 2015
So sorry for you lost, thinking I'd you in this difficult time.

Sandy & Bob

Pam Smith Paquette
   Posted Sun September 13, 2015
Alice and Liz: Praying for you.

Luke Sweeney
   Posted Mon September 14, 2015
Mr. D,
When I was just a boy at HoJo's, you taught me how to work hard and helped me become a man. I quote you to my children all the time. My brother Sean and I loved you dearly. My condolences to your wife and daughter. You will be sorely missed but joyfully remembered.

Judy Besse
   Posted Mon September 14, 2015
Liz & Alice

So sorry for your loss. I have fond memories of Hugo toting us to dance recital rehearsals. He was such a wonderful man. You are in my thoughts and prayers.


Rochelle Dion Mastera
   Posted Mon September 14, 2015
Alice and Liz
I'm sorry for your loss of the laugh of the party. My time working at hugo's was the best time and a learning experience. was never a dull moment on a friday night during lent and 6 people in that little place. we loved it and had many laughs I will miss that hardy laugh he always had if I can do anything pleas let me know

donna leite
   Posted Mon September 14, 2015
Alice, so sorry to hear of Hugo's passing. My thaughts and prayers are with you and your family. Hugo was an amazing man and husband and you were both blessed to have one another. I Remember all the treats you would bring in from Hugo that he would send us at saint lukes hospital. He will be very missed.

Myrna and Paul Lubin
   Posted Mon September 14, 2015
We are so sad to hear of Hugo's death. We remember him as a great cook and a fine man. We will miss his smile and good cheer!

Dennis & Linda Thompson
   Posted Mon September 14, 2015
Alice, no words can express how we feel after we got word about Hugo. Our days at the Y will be very empty not seeing His smile and conversation. I trust we will see you at the" Y "to keep you active, and talk about the Good old day's.. May God watch over Hugo and may God bless you and your daughter !!

Kathleen Donovan
   Posted Tue September 15, 2015
"Mommy" and Liz - my thoughts and love are with you both - you are both family in every way that counts.

Rita Kenney
   Posted Wed September 16, 2015
Alice and Liz;

I am so sorry for loss; my prayers and thoughts are with you today and always.

Rita Kenney

rita kenney
   Posted Wed September 16, 2015
Alice and Liz;

I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers and thoughts are with you now and always.


Joan Henderson Beaubian
   Posted Wed September 16, 2015
Dear Alice,
So sorry to hear of your husband's passing. After reading his obituary, I can only conclude that you and Hugo had a wonderful marriage and you and he were truly blessed.
Please accept my condolences.
Your old school mate Joan Henderson Beaubian

Frances Fuller
   Posted Wed September 16, 2015
Alice and Liz, I was so sad to hear about the passing of Hugo. I loved his laugh, his wonderful stories, and most of all loved how he cared so much for his family and friends. He was a wonderful man, loved by many. My condolences for your loss, you're in my thoughts and prayers.

Oscar & Donna Robichaud/Joan & Bill's neighbors
   Posted Sat September 19, 2015
Alice & Liz,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you both.

Tammy Ashley
   Posted Sat September 19, 2015
Alice and Liz,
I have been at a loss for words since I found out about Hugo. My thoughts and Prayers have been with you both, I know how much he loved both of you. It was such a pleasure working for him, he taught me, more then I think anyone will know, and I thank him for that. Even though he is gone he will live forever in the hearts and memories of everyone that had the honor of knowing him, and especially in the Love that you all shared as a family. May you find solace and comfort with Our Lord, in the times to come. You will always be in my prayers.

Jessica Ashley
   Posted Sat September 19, 2015
Alice and Liz,
Sorry for the loss of Hugo. Even though my memory of him is limited to when my mom worked for him, I know he was a nice man.
Prayers to you both.

Kelly Steadman-Marlowe
   Posted Sun February 21, 2016
I am very sorry for your loss. Hugo was a great man. He had a big heart and I was very honored to have known him. He gave my daughter a chance when she was in her teens. He hired her at his restaurant and because of him she has the greatest passion for cooking. He was a family friend of my dad the late Harold "Sonny" Steadman. My heartfelt condolences to his wife and family. God Bless and Rest In Peace Hugo. with love from Kelly and the Steadman family.

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