Elena Clancy

Elena M. Clancy (Donato)

March 28, 1932 - February 12, 2021
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CHELMSFORD – Elena M. Clancy, 88, of Chelmsford, died February 12, 2021, surrounded by the love of her family. She was predeceased by her beloved husband of almost 60 years, John P. Clancy, in 2016, and she leaves behind their eight children and spouses – Jack and his wife Ann of Chelmsford, Bob of North Chelmsford, Carolyn of Needham, Paul and his wife Ellen of Andover, Ted and his wife Mary of Framingham, Diane Taylor and her husband Mark of Chelmsford, Mary Fiorentino of Winchester, and Kathy Colecchi and her husband Chris of Andover. She was also the adoring grandmother of 19 - Jennifer and her husband Brian Petro-Roy, Sean and his wife Samantha, Michael Joseph, Megan, Colin, Cameron, Connor and his wife Sarah, Caitlin, Dillon, John and his wife Liz, Julie, Michael Patrick, Clancy, Ryan, Tony, Tia, Ben, Talia, and Joe; and the great-grandmother to Ellie, Lucy, Johnny, Sienna, and a boy due in July. She was predeceased by her sister and brother-in-law, Jo and Art Morrissey, and is survived by their sons Jack, Jim, and Arthur.

Ellie grew up in Watertown, the daughter of the late Dominic and Maria (Brisighelli) Donato, immigrants from Sicily and Rome respectively. Their home was always full of the aroma of pasta and meatballs, while Ellie and her sister Jo, who was also her best friend, worked on their embroidering in front of the coal stove. A few years after graduating from St. Patrick’s High School, Ellie got a job at the Phone Company, where she met lifelong friends who set her up on a blind date with Johnny Clancy, an Irishman from Brighton. On their first date they went ballroom dancing - three months later they were engaged and they married in 1956. Ellie always said she liked him as much as loved him, and that he was everything she ever wanted. They spent their first few married years in Colorado Springs, where John served in the US Army. These were what she called some of the happiest years of their lives.

Upon returning to New England, they settled in Chelmsford, where they raised their eight children. She loved being a mother and it showed, as all her children remember theirs as an idyllic childhood: unconditional love, dinner on the table at 5:30 pm, Friday night “Clancy Specials” while watching The Brady Bunch and The Partridge Family. Ellie typed her kids’ papers, sang with them, mended and ironed their clothes, saved coins in a jar to buy the girls’ prom dresses (don’t show Dad the price tag), attended parties and put on skits with the neighbors, volunteered at schools and St. Mary’s Church, and made sure to be present for every event, no matter how big or small. Each morning, she made eight lunches; each night, she led the family in saying prayers in the living room while down on their knees.

After the last kids went to college, Ellie started working at Chelmsford Dental Associates and made many more friends. As her children began to have children of their own, she relished the role of grandmother and developed a close relationship with each and every grandchild - attending events, texting them (often in all caps), playing cribbage, baking, and mostly just listening to them and encouraging them. She wanted them to know that they were unique, loved, and special. They would like her to know that they will continue to mind their Ps and Qs.

In addition to her own family, she was a dear and loved friend and “mother” to so many others, by whom she will be missed.

In recent years, you could find her at morning mass at St. Margaret’s, followed by coffee and treats with good friends at Dunkin Donuts - where they would solve the problems of the world and brag about their grandkids.

This past year, she was blessed to have selfless care from the staff at Chelmsford Crossings, to which the family is very grateful.

Her proudest accomplishment and pastime was her family. She also loved the beach (Wingaersheek, The Cape, and Hampton), getting a deep tan, a good Manhattan, fried clams, fashionable clothes (making her own with her mother when she was young, going into Boston to buy her own when she first got a job), Dairy Dells, and cribbage. But, in the end, she will be remembered most for her extraordinary kindness, for the happiness she inspired, and for the love that she so freely gave to all around her.

Due to gathering limitations, Elena’s funeral services and interment will be held privately. You are kindly invited to view her Mass of Christian Burial live on Thursday, February 18, 2021 at 11:00 am. Please click on the following ST. MARY LIVEVIEW link ( at the time of the Mass. Following the Mass of Christian Burial please visit Elena’s obituary page on CHELMSFORDFUNERALHOME.COM to view a recorded eulogy delivered by her family. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Table of Plenty in Chelmsford where Ellie volunteered (

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Service Details

Due to gathering limitations, funeral services and interment will be held privately. You are kindly invited to view her Mass of Christian Burial live on Thursday, February 18, 20201 at 11:00 am. Please visit the link above in her obituary at the time of the Mass.


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21 trees have been planted in memory of Elena M. Clancy (Donato)

Nancy, Claire and Axie FitzGetald

Posted at 01:12pm
Carolyn and Family, Our deepest sympathy for your loss . May you find strength from the love that surrounds you. Always, the FitzGerald Family

3 trees were planted in the memory of Elena Clancy

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Enterprise Bank, The Leominster Branch

Posted at 08:15am
Jack and family, we are so sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved mother. May your fond memories bring you strength during this difficult time.

3 trees were planted in the memory of Elena Clancy

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Jackie, Judy & Cathy Colecchi

Posted at 02:16pm
Your mom and John created quite a legacy with a very special family that has strong generational ties. Our prayers are with you- Love, the Colecchi's

3 trees were planted in the memory of Elena Clancy

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Meg and Pat Kelleher

Posted at 08:01pm
With love and hugs.

3 trees were planted in the memory of Elena Clancy

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Linda Day

Posted at 07:27pm
My deepest sympathy for your loss. Ellie was a very special woman and will be remembered always. I worked with Ellie at CDA and truly loved her.
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