Velma O’Donnell of Provincetown died peacefully in her sleep on Dec. 10, 2021 at Stevens Memorial Hospital in Norway, Maine. She was 97.
Born in Provincetown on Jan. 15, 1924, she was the daughter of the late Joseph and Mary (Crawly) Perry. She spent her early years in Yarmouth before moving back to Provincetown as a teenager, where she spent the rest of her life. She graduated from Provincetown High School in 1942.
After high school, Velma worked in movie theaters, helped her mom with sewing, and was fired from a job with a fishmonger after she caught him cheating on weight.
Velma met Wallace O’Donnell in the late 1940s. They soon married and built their home on the Point Street hill in Provincetown in the 1950s. There they raised their daughter, Marjorie, who was born in 1954.
After working for a short time as a secretary at Provincetown High School, Velma took a job in Orleans as the personal secretary for Judge Robert A. Welsh. She held that post until 1973 when Judge Welsh retired. After his son, Robert A. Welsh Jr., was appointed to the same position his father had held, Velma spent the rest of her career as his secretary.
After she retired, she spent her days baking, sewing, knitting, and gardening. She enjoyed baking treats for her many friends and neighbors.
Velma and Wally would walk down to the benches in town every night and enjoyed people watching. They also loved to watch the sunsets from the New Beach, now called Herring Cove.
Velma loved Provincetown, its community, and everything it has to offer.
Velma and Wally traveled to Florida every winter to spend time with their daughter, Margie, until Wally died in 2010.
Velma is survived by her daughter, Marjorie Breton, of Treasure Island, Fla.; her grandson, Kelly Turner, and wife Katie Loranger of Bethel, Maine; and her great-grandson, Cameron Turner of Eastham. She had many friends and is missed by all.
Velma’s burial will take place at 11 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 20 at Provincetown Cemetery.
An online guest book for expressions of condolence for the family can be found at gatelyfuneralservice.com.