Remembering Jack Donovan

Jack Donovan was not as well known as his wife Mollie.

Until her death 3 years ago, she was a tireless volunteer in a variety of causes. From the Historical Society and Westport Arts Center to the Schools’ Permanent Art Collection, everyone knew Mollie Donovan.

Jack and Mollie Donovan, on their wedding day.

Jack and Mollie Donovan, on their wedding day.

Jack was less visible, more low-key. But in his quiet, unassuming way, he too contributed to a variety of causes in town. He offered his pro bono services as an accountant to many, and he was very active — behind the scenes — helping Mollie in every project.

Jack died yesterday morning at 87. His death came the same way he lived: quietly and gently.

His son Dan — who, thanks in part to the love of Westport instilled by his parents — moved back here several years ago, with his wife and their 6 kids — passes along a story that epitomizes Jack Donovan.

“Mom lost a diamond from her wedding ring,” Dan says. “Dad submitted a claim to the insurance company and they got reimbursed.

“A year later, Mom was sweeping under the radiator in their bedroom. Lo and behold, the missing diamond was found.

“Dad promptly wrote a check to the insurance company. They called to ask why. He told them it was for the found diamond. They said no one had ever done that before — and they had no idea what to do with his check!”

Jack Donovan was honest, loyal and smart. He had impeccable integrity. He was a great Westporter and a beloved family man, with values we should all strive to emulate.

Jack Donovan, surrounded by his 12 grandchildren.

Jack Donovan, surrounded by his 12 grandchildren.



9 responses to “Remembering Jack Donovan

  1. Don Willmott

    The Donovans were one of the great Westport families of my generation. I’m happy to hear that, thanks to Dan and his six (!) kids, they still are!

    • Dan Donovan

      Don – thanks for your very kind words. I have to tell you that when I read one of your responses in 06880 several months ago about growing up in Westport, I could have been reading my own diary! Your father too, was an integral part of Westport capturing the character of our town in his wonderful drawings. We have several gracing the walls of our house.

  2. Gary Rozynek

    Great story Dan!

    Happy holiday!

    Gary S. Rozynek
    Managing Partner
    The Maverick Group
    136 Main Str., Suite 206
    Westport, CT. 06880
    Ph: 203.227.2800 ext:301
    M : 203.858.8442


  3. Maura Paulik

    Thank you for a lovely tribute to our dad and for your (decades long) friendship with the Donovan family.
    As you know, photography was Dad’s hobby and everyone remembers Jack with that huge camera around his neck, patiently waiting for the perfect shot! In addition to soccer games and family events, Mom often “hired” him for photo documentation of the many projects she was involved in around town. It’s fitting that he passed away on the fourth of July, as he especially loved the challenge of capturing the fireworks on film – yes, film!
    Dad’s home was his castle for 51 years. He always told us that the only way he was leaving it was, “feet first.” Yesterday, we made sure to carry out his final wish – and of course we sent his camera too!
    Thanks again Dan.

  4. Again, I feel a little lost right now, never having had the privilege to know, in life, this amazing gentlemen. Thank you for offering us a small glimpse into the world of this fortunate family who were able to call Jack their own…it helps to know, at least, in this day of unseemly characters who get most of our attention (at least in the media), that there are, indeed, true, true gems…people like Jack Donovan.

  5. So sorry to hear this news. Before Jack was a Grandfather, during one of our emergencies, he met our then kindergarten aged daughter at the bus and brought her inside. When I got home, I found them calmly and happily playing a game of scrabble at our kitchen table. Thank you Jack (and Mollie) for being wonderful neighbors, a steady voice of reason, and great role models. I feel as though I know all of the kids and grandkids well, just through the love of them that he and Mollie expressed to me over the years (mostly at tax time every year.) He over the moon in his role as a father and as a grandfather. His eyes twinkled when he spoke of his kids and grandkids. What a great man.

  6. Dorothy Abrams

    I did that with a lost and found bracelet. My return letter said the check had been rec’d and in the future I should be more careful.

  7. I never heard that story about Uncle Jack! He will be missed

  8. Wally Woods

    Farewell Jack. You are now back together with your beloved Mollie. Our love goes out to both of you, and our deepest condolences go to your large and beautiful family.
    Wally and Denise Woods