Donovan, from a Catholic family, entered the seminary but started a hunger strike to bring attention to his desire to attend college. “It was to let his parents know he wanted to be a doctor, not a priest,” Andringa said.
After attending Marquette University, Donovan received his medical degree from UW School of Medicine and Public Health. He and Andringa, medical school classmates, ended up at Dean Clinic, Andringa as a pediatrician and Donovan an ear, nose and throat specialist.
Donovan became president of Dean Clinic, helping it merge with another doctor group and launch an HMO, Dean Health Plan.
“He was a friend you could count on,” said Andringa, who played the card game Sheepshead with Donovan and joined him in attending Badgers football, basketball and hockey games.
Donovan was a dedicated tennis player, spending many hours at the John Powless Tennis Center in Madison. He also played bridge, achieving the title of life master.
“He worked extremely hard at whatever he did, whether it be tennis or golf or bridge,” said Nelson, a veterinarian in Janesville.
As with many COVID-19 deaths, a traditional memorial service was not held.
“It’s a big Irish family and there was no big funeral, no big wake,” Nelson said. “There wasn’t a lot of closure.”
Get local news delivered to your inbox!