She Kept the Party Going
At the bar that night, everyone else at the Keefe, Bruyette & Woods table was young, male and in investment banking. The interloper, merry and unintimidated, was 34, female and a temporary secretary at the firm. But with her party sparkle and give-and-take humor, Jacqueline Donovan swiftly became an honorary member of the club.
From interloper to surrogate big sister: after her job became permanent, Ms. Donovan would regularly round up the guys, confirm the place, keep that party going.
"These stories make Jackie sound like a party animal," said her father, James Donovan. "Well, she was."
Ms. Donovan made parties happen. She planned outings of six women, friends since Catholic grammar school, every two months and chauffeured them around Long Island clubs. A fearless clown, she once wore a Gumby costume so big she couldn't fit into her girlfriend's car and so just jogged next to it.
Although she could win gold in the shopping Olympics, she bought as much for her family and friends as she did for herself.
Warm and big-hearted, Ms. Donovan danced comfortably among bikers as well as bankers. At her memorial mass, the service was briefly drowned out while guys outside revved motorcycles in her honor.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on March 3, 2002.