Roland J. Donato, 81, Watertown

WATERTOWN, NY —  Roland J. Donato, 81, passed away Saturday evening, March 13, 2021, at his home in Watertown surrounded by his loving family.

Born Nov. 18, 1939, in Watertown, the son of Nicholas and Mildred Moore Donato, he was a 1958 graduate of Watertown High School.

On Nov. 20, 1965, he married Brenda M. Lillie at Holy Family Church with Msgr. Robert Lawlor officiating.

Roland was the purchasing director and production coordinator for Black Clawson, retiring after 42 years of service to the company. He was superintendent of Camden and Mill St. Manor Apartments for five years.

He was a communicant of Holy Family Church, an usher, and active volunteer for bingo and the May Festival. Roland was a life member of Elks Lodge 496 and a member of the Purchasing Managers Assoc. at Black Clawson.

He enjoyed camping, cruises, Friday fish fries, being a handyman, and the family cottage on Pillar Point. The couple spent winters in Isle of Palms, SC. He enjoyed traveling, which included Hawaii, Panama, and the Caribbean, and also Disney World with his grandchildren. His time with family and friends was precious to him.

He will always be remembered as a loving husband and devoted father and grandfather. He was a best friend to many.

Rollie was looking forward to the birth of his first great-grandchild, Rylee Marie, in July.

Along with his wife, Brenda, Roland is survived by his two daughters and their husbands, Andrea K. and Glenn Sprague, Lorraine and Debbie A. and Joshua Perry, Mt. Pleasant, SC; three grandchildren, Nicholas A. and wife Jasmine, Emily M. and companion Dylan Nichols, and Savannah D. Perry; a brother and his wife, Jack E. and Edie H. Donato, Watertown; and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He was predeceased by three brothers, Paul R., Robert P., and Joseph N. Donato, and sister, Beverly M. Roberts.

A funeral mass at Holy Family Church and burial in Calvary Cemetery will be at a date and time to be announced. Arrangements are entrusted with Cummings Funeral Service, Inc., Watertown.

Online condolences may be posted at

In lieu of flowers donations in his name may be made to Hospice of Jefferson County, 1398 Gotham St., Sisters of St. Joseph, 1425 Washington St., or Holy Family Church, 129 Winthrop St., all in Watertown, NY 13601. His family would like to give a special thanks for the care and devotion of Roland to Anna Rascoe, Nicole Shultz, and Denise Wetterhahn, of Hospice of Jefferson County.