WEST BOYLSTON-“As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round”. Sadly, on Tuesday, November 21st that round came to an end for Donald J. “Donnie” Marrone, Jr., 67, owner of Wachusett Country Club in West Boylston. He now joins his granddaughter and little angel, Emma L. Marrone who passed away in 2006.
Donnie was born in Worcester on August 17, 1950 a son of the late Donald J. Marrone, Sr., and Edith M. (Killoran) Marrone. He graduated from St. John’s High School Class of 1968 where he accumulated many lifelong friendships, especially Paul Johnson and Henry Grosse, whom predeceased him by ironically one year to the day. He also graduated from UMass Amherst with a degree in hotel and restaurant management. In 1998 he was awarded the St. John’s Distinguished Alumni Award an achievement he was extremely proud of.
Don returned home to join his father in the daily operation of the golf course that was purchased by his grandfather in 1939. His father instilled in him the crucial values of dedication and hard work, both of which were essential to the continued success of their dream. Following his father’s death in 1990, Don single handedly assumed the roles of Club Manager, Greens Keeper, Construction Superintendent and “Sometimes Chef”. In 2005 his perseverance was recognized when he received the Distinguished Service award from the Golf Course Superintendent Association of New England. In 2008 Donnie and his family purchased Kettle Brook Country Club in Paxton.
Kind, generous, loyal and caring are just some of the many attributes that he possessed. Throughout his life, he was always looking for ways to help those in need. It was through the tragic passing of his beloved granddaughter, Emma that he and his family began “Emma’s Brunch”. Each Easter the event is held in her memory and all proceeds benefit Boston Children’s Hospital. To date it has raised over three hundred thousand dollars. Great memories were made with his close friends on the many trips to Ireland that he took during his lifetime. Family was of the utmost importance to him and he had a special place in his heart for his grandchildren and their yearly trips to Atlantis. He will be missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him.
Many will miss him deeply but his legacy will be carried on by his family, including his wife of 45 years, Pamela J. (Bowie) Marrone; his children, Matthew J. Marrone and his wife Jamie, Cara F. Cullen and her husband Patrick, Michael J. Marrone and his wife, Evelyn and Nicholas D. Marrone; eleven grandchildren, Anthony, Andrew, Sam, Peter, Edith, Elizabeth, Lillian, Hannah, Sofia, Cami, Ryan; three sisters, Donna M. Lamphron, Patricia A. Marrone and Ann Marie Coffey and her husband, John. A sister, Diane L. Silva predeceased him.
Family and friends will honor, remember and celebrate his life by gathering on Sunday, November 26th from 2:00pm until 6:00pm at Wachusett Country Club, 187 Prospect St., West Boylston. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00am on Monday, November 27th at Our Lady of Good Council Church, 111 Worcester St., West Boylston (PLEASE GO DIRECTLY TO CHURCH). Burial will follow at Mount Vernon Cemetery. The family asks that flowers please be omitted and memorial donations may be made to the Emma Marrone Memorial Fund, c/o Wachusett Country Club, 187 Prospect St, West Boylston, 01583. Arrangements in the care of Fay Brothers Funeral Home, 1 West Boylston Street. For additional information or to place an online condolence, please visit: www.faybrothers.com