Family and friends are saddened by the news of John O'Donovan's death on March 17, 2011, at age 48 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii, where he spent his last year in warmth and sunshine.
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Born John Phillip Donovan on Oct. 10, 1962, in Jefferson, Iowa, he was the youngest of the eight children of Evelyn Hoffman Donovan and Richard Thomas Donovan. He legally changed his name to John O'Donovan at 20 years old. John graduated from Jefferson Community High School in 1981 and earned a baccalaureate degree in computer graphics from Marycrest College in Davenport, Iowa, in 1985.
He worked as a computer artist in Lake Geneva, Wis.; Knoxville, Tenn.; Altoona, Iowa; Bozeman; and Hawaii. For the majority of his career, he designed video art for the gaming industry. He was most proud of his role in the development of a game that gave the player his odds of winning as well as how long his money would allow him to play.
In Montana John lived a simple life that made the most of his spectacular surroundings. He was an avid outdoorsman, hunting and fishing in the finest trout streams where, he often noted with a laugh, he succeeded with worms and a "Snoopy" pole.
He traveled repeatedly to the seat of Donovan family roots in West Cork, Ireland, where he met and befriended distant cousins. There are fond memories of him playing the spoons with the local musicians.
John O', as he is known, was a kind and caring man who chose to live his life simply and with solitude. He cared deeply for family, in particular his beloved mother and father.
John is predeceased by his mother, and survived by his father, Richard Donovan of Walnut Creek, Calif., and his seven siblings: Patricia Larson of Washington, D.C.; Jane Ellen Donovan of Middleton, Wis.; Timothy Donovan of Montpelier, Vt.; Thomas Donovan of Danville, Calif.; Mary Papagiannis of Folsom, Calif.; Stephen Donovan of Escondido, Calif.; and Joseph Donovan of Pleasant Hill, Iowa. He was a special uncle to 21 nieces and nephews.
A memorial mass will be held at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Jefferson, Iowa, at 2 p.m. on June 11 during the annual Bell Tower Festival and his 30-year high school reunion. Please join the family for a simple gathering in memory of John O' at the "Old Donovan Barn" at 1108 W. Adams St. following the memorial mass.
John's ashes will be committed to the earth on Oct. 9, 2011, in Valley View Cemetery, Pony, Mont., where he will forever witness a vista that he loved.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to The Neuropathy Association, Inc., 60 E. 42nd St., Suite 942, New York, NY 10165; (212) 692-0662; http://www.neuropathy.org.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Apr. 24, 2011