Josephine Lillian Damato (Donahue) was born on October 1, 1928 in Brockton Massachusetts as a second generation Italian. One of first times Josephine made significant change in another’s life was at the age of 16 when she ended the violence her father perpetuated against her mother. She would go on to live her life in such a way that combined compassion with strength, imbuing her love with a boldness unique to who she was. Josephine began working at 15 years old for the company Raytheon where she quickly moved up in position to manager, during which time she led a team entrusted with classified information.
Josephine met Thomas, an Irishman from Whitman, and the two went on to have two children: Todd and Scott. Todd, born with a mild developmental disability, inspired Josephine’s spearhead effort for better education and treatment of those with disadvantages be they mental or physical. The changes that Todd inspired would go on to help many Massachusetts children and the results of that effort remain in place to this day.
Josephine opened Nature’s Pantry in 1971 and would go on to run the store independently for the next 51 years. Nature’s Pantry was founded during the Kennedy years and served as a bastion for natural and supplemental health. Josephine carried into this new line of work the same attitude she carried throughout her life, and in Nature’s Pantry the customer was not always right, nor was an unpleasant customer welcome, because truth is not always comfortable but that does not make it any less true. Over half a century Josephine would help countless individuals and generations of families who had come to know her, respect her vast knowledge, and remained steadfast customers while dubbing her, "Mother Nature".
In the mid 90’s Josephine and Thomas spent their golden years raising their grandchildren and enjoying the fruits of their labor, taking annual family vacations to the favored destination of Aruba where they’d long ago purchased a timeshare near friends Patricia and Joseph Beneski.
Josephine Donahue would explain her attitude towards life as being Libra with a natural desire for balancing the scales, a phenomenon which held true through her peaceful return to the Earth on March 30th of the year 2023. Josephine loved children, animals, her family, her friends, and general order in her life. Josephine is survived by her son, Scott, her grandchildren, Thomas and Brynna, and her great-grandchildren, Everly, Peyton, Hannah, and Hayleigh - born from Thomas and his wife, Amelia.
Josephine’s life was that of strength and love. She had high standards for women, higher standards for men, and suffered neither fools nor abusers of either kind. Go forward in her honor and memory remembering that everything we need in our lives was given to us by Nature and that Love is kindness free from expectation of reciprocation but is instead a sharing of the Light within us all.
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