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Kathleen “Bonnie” Gilligan

by | Feb 20, 2019 | Obituaries

Kathleen Rose “Bonnie” Gilligan, 80, died from Parkinson’s disease on Feb. 4, spending her final days in the compassionate care of Parlin Hospice Residence in Wayland after so many years of wonderful support at the Framingham Union Hospital emergency room and many trips there in Hopkinton Fire Department ambulances and emergency support from the Hopkinton Police.

A kind, caring and gentle friend to all, Bonnie, as the eighth of 12 children, leaves behind and is predeceased by many relatives and friends who got to know and love her as deeply as she treasured others. As her first grandchild said the night he died from cancer at three years of age, “I love everyone” was how Bonnie lived her life, so she will be terribly missed though hers has been a life that merits deep celebration.

Born to Emmet and Anastasia Smith, Bonnie grew up in Watertown, where she attended St. Patrick School, graduating in the Class of 1956. She married Thomas J. Gilligan of Watertown and, putting off her childhood desire to become a nurse, she travelled to Washington, D.C., in support of her husband and a career that took them to Latin America and a 28-year career in foreign affairs. Upon Thomas’ retirement from the federal government, the Gilligans returned to Massachusetts and made a 33-year residence in Hopkinton. Bonnie graduated from the Framingham Union Hospital School of Nursing at age 54, becoming a registered nurse working in pediatrics and eldercare.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by her children and their spouses: Thomas Gilligan III and wife Kate of New Jersey, Julie Ann Wagner and husband David of North Carolina, Stephen Gilligan and wife Trese of New Hampshire, Elizabeth Hobson and husband David of Lincoln, and Timothy and wife Sena of Sudbury. She also leaves 11 grandchildren, one great-grandchild and her siblings Dr. Francis Smith and wife Patricia of Belmont, Thomas Smith and wife Shirley of Westborough, Dorothy Steeves and husband Peter of Franklin, and Margaret Pomeroy and husband Larry of Hopkinton.

She is predeceased by her siblings Marjorie Martin, Marie Mullaly, Virginia Smith O.P., Charlotte Smith, James W. Smith, Kenneth Smith and Robert Smith, and also by her grandson Cameron Gilligan.

A funeral Mass was celebrated Feb. 9 in St. John the Evangelist Church, with burial following in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Hopkinton. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to the Callanan Cronin Funeral Home of Hopkinton.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or Shriners Hospital for Children, 2900 Rocky Point Dr., Tampa, FL  33607.


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