Eric Robert MacDonald, 31, of Hopkinton passed away unexpectedly at a group home in Milford. Born at Leonard Morse Hospital in Natick, Eric was the beloved son of Lauren (Calabrese) Rowntree of Hopkinton and Geoffrey MacDonald of Boston. He also was close to his stepfather, James Rowntree, and Geoffrey’s life partner, Joanne Meirovitz.
Eric graduated from the New England Center for Children in Southborough upon turning 22 on April 8, 2013. Eric was a sweet, good-natured young man with autism who attended the Nashoba Learning Group Adult Day Program for the last nine years. During this time, he lived in a loving, shared living home with Marthe and Wilbert Vilchert in Hudson, while continuing to visit with his parents on weekends. Eric touched many lives during his short life with his endearing nature and infectious smile. His passing has left many who loved him filled with great sadness.
Eric enjoyed going for walks, watching videos, playing on his computer, listening to his music and going to the beach. He also loved spending time with his family, eating pasta and looking at his photo books. Although Eric was non-verbal and used a communication device to express his wants and needs, he always found ways to communicate his love for the people closest to him. He was affectionate, had a sense of humor and enjoyed his interactions with others, laughing and smiling.
Besides his parents, Eric is survived by two brothers, Michael MacDonald of Burlington, Vermont, and Zachery MacDonald of Newton. Eric also is survived by his maternal grandmother, Loretta Calabrese of Thomaston, Connecticut, and his aunts, uncles and many cousins.
Visitation will be held on Monday, Sept. 19, from 9-10:30 a.m. at Chesmore Funeral Home of Hopkinton, 57 Hayden Rowe Street. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. in St. John the Evangelist Church, 20 Church Street, Hopkinton. Burial will follow immediately in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Hopkinton, with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations in Eric’s memory may be made to the Nashoba Learning Group (nashobalearninggroup.org).
Obituaries are submissions, typically from funeral homes, that are not subject to the same level of editorial oversight as the rest of the Hopkinton Independent. Obituaries may be edited for grammatical and factual mistakes and clarifications and shortened for space considerations.