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November 30, 2021

Leona T. (Handrahan) Doran

Leona T. (Handrahan) Doran, of Quincy, died peacefully on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 at the Good Samaritan Medical Center in Brockton. She was 94.

Born in Pisquid, Prince Edward Island, Canada, on April 17, 1927, she was the daughter of the late Frank and Gertrude (Gillian) Handrahan. She grew up on a farm that overlooked the Pisquid River, one of the most beautiful places in the world, a paradise except for the mosquitos. At the age of 10, Leona’s father died leaving her 18-year-old brother, six other sisters, and mother to work that farm, where they all learned to work and to take care of each other. She was the first to buy a car (an old Ford Model A that used as much oil as gas) by saving her extra berry picking and egg grader money. When Leona didn’t find a husband, her and her sister Evelyn left home to the “land of opportunity” where there were jobs and no mosquitos. Once in America, they lived on Columbus Avenue in Boston. They would go to “Canadian Dances” where Leona met John G. Doran, a fisherman from Holyrood Newfoundland, who swept her off her feet. The two married and John went off to do his military duty. Little known fact, John Doran’s good buddy, Frank Manning, ended up marrying Leona’s sister Evelyn.

John and Leona, both coming from large families, spent much time visiting with them. She worked hard, saved her money, and ended up in North Quincy, a home she loved that constantly evolved. Building that house was a labor of love, her brother-in-law Joseph McIsaac and Winsel Larkin did most of the carpentry, though John and Leona certainly did their part as well.

In the mid-seventies, they purchased the family farm in PEI, a place she couldn’t part with, even though she was unable to travel to it the past few years. The old farmhouse deteriorated, and a new one was built in the eighties. The bulk of the building was done by John, Leona, young John, and his future wife Robin. They would spend a good part of their summers with family and friends, enjoying their island paradise. They would work on the house, have visitors, play many card games, attended local dances, and church suppers.

Throughout her life Leona had many dogs. Most of the time she had to have two dogs, because it was too heartbreaking when one would die. Her last companion was Claudia, a German Shepherd rescue from Memphis, who kept her on her toes and gave her lots of company in the last few years.

Leona was a nurturer and liked to watch things grow. She always had a garden and over the years it got larger and larger. Then came the problem of what to do with the extra, you can only eat so much. She would end up peddling veggies to many neighbors, family members, or whoever else came by. She would even bring tomatoes to her doctor’s appointments.

Leona was a woman that always kept busy.  From painting the house to cut the grass, sealing the driveway to shingling her roof, Leona was not afraid to get her hands dirty. She would walk her dogs about 5 miles a day up until, she was hit by a car at age 86, at which time she sustained many injuries. It set her back, but she bounced back to a point. Leona had trouble staying idle, so to keep her busy, she braided rugs, made quilts, afghans, knitted hats, scarfs, and sweaters, made all the draperies in the house, stripped and refurbished furniture. She was even known to make some of her own clothes.

She was certainly independent, possibly due to John G. being away a lot and then left for good 10 years ago. Because of some declining health issues, Leona had to give up some of her duties. In the later years, she paid someone to paint the house and coat the driveway. She even gave up cutting the grass and snow blowing.

The last two years the climate was against her, and the garden was a little disappointing, but she still got a few tomatoes up to the neighbors. All in all, Leona was able to stay in her home with her dog and continue to occasionally drive her car, even though her son was opposed to it. It took the Corona Virus to take her down. So please, take this virus seriously, get the vaccine, wear your mask and hopefully it will go away before it takes anyone else.

Leona was the beloved wife of the late John G. Doran, who died in 2011. Devoted mother of John W. Doran and his spouse Robin of Greenfield. Loving grandmother of Hillary J. Doran of FL. Dear sister Alicia Woodburn of NH. Preceded in death by her siblings: Ida Ostridge, Zeta McAree, Genevieve McIsaac, Mary St. John, Chester Handrahan, and Evelyn Manning. Also survived by many loving nieces and nephews.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to greet the family during the visitation on Tuesday, December 7, 2021, 9-10 AM in the Keohane Funeral Home, 785 Hancock St., QUINCY.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held in the funeral home at 9:45 AM on Tuesday, December 7, 2021, prior to the Funeral Mass at Divine Mercy Parish in Sacred Heart Church, Quincy at 10:30 AM.

The family requests face masks to be worn.

Services conclude with interment in Pine Hill Cemetery, Quincy.

A celebration of Leona’s life will be held at a later date to be announced.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Leona may be sent to your local animal shelter or the charitable organization of one’s choice.