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Gerard O'Donovan

O'Donovan, Gerard Anthony Gerard Anthony O'Donovan was born to Jeremiah and Nellie O'Donovan (nee Cullinane) in a small bungalow in Cononagh, near Leap, County Cork, Ireland on November 28, 1937. After attending The Mall school locally, Gerard attended secondary school at Good Counsel College in New Ross, Ireland. He next earned his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Dairy Science from University College Cork, in Cork, Ireland. In the Fall of 1961, Gerard left Ireland for the United States where with a scholarship he began his doctoral work in Bacteriology at the University of California, Davis under the tutelage of John L. Ingraham. After earning his Ph.D. in 1966, he next did a postdoc at the University of California, Berkeley with John Gerhart, where he began his lifelong study of pyrimidine metabolism and in particular aspartate transcarbamy-lase. Gerard and his then wife Donna Donovan (nee Grosso) and their first son Brian moved in 1968 to College Station, TX where Gerry started work at Texas A&M University in the both the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics and the Department of Genetics. His second son Kevin was born in 1971. While at Texas A&M until 1983, Gerry published numerous papers and earned two teaching awards and founded and organized for many years the Gulf Coast Microbiology Conference held annually in Corpus Christi and later in Kerrville. Gerry next embarked on a sabbatical year in 1983/84 with Paul Broda at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. Following the encouragement of Dr. Roland Vela, he then became Chair of Biological Sciences at then North Texas State University, now University of North Texas from 1984 until 2001. When he stepped down Gerry continued to teach Microbiology and train numerous Masters and Ph.D. students up until late 2013. He trained over 100 MS and 100 PhD. Students. Gerry enjoyed teaching, reading, cross-words, horse racing, coaching kids soccer and baseball among many other things. He is one of four siblings. His brother John Finbarr "Barry" and wife Delia preceded him in death. He is survived by his former spouse Donna; his brother Brian and sister Finola and their respective spouses Breda and Tom; his two sons, Brian and Kevin and Kevin's spouse Jee Hae and grandchildren Niamh and Sean; and his longtime friend and companion Debrah Beck as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. There will Visitation at Mulkey-Mason Funeral Home, 705 N. Locust St. Denton,TX , from 10 am to 1pm on Sunday February 23, 2014 followed by a celebration of his life at the UNT Environmental Sciences building, 1704 W. Mulberry Denton,TX from 2-4pm. On line condolences may be made at www.mulkeymasondenton.com

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Funeral Home

Mulkey-Mason Funeral Home - Lewisville
740 S. Edmonds Lane Lewisville, TX 75057
(972) 436-4581

Published in Dallas Morning News on Feb. 21, 2014
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