The Rev. John C. Donovan, 89, ended this earthly journey and entered into glory Sunday, December 1, 2019. The beloved priest and retired rector of Trinity Episcopal Church served that parish for 19 years, retiring in 1995.
Father Donovan was born in Muncie, Indiana in 1930, son of Carl and Eleanor Donovan. The family moved to Texas when he was in high school. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Texas, passed the Texas Bar Exam, and proceeded to study for Holy Orders at the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas, graduating in 1957.
He met and married Joal Harris while serving a Chaplaincy at Baylor University. Joal and John married in 1962 and had three sons. John is survived by his wife and his sons and their families: John Mark, John Stephen Harris, his wife, Leslie Warnick, and children, Owen, 16, and Ellie, 14; and John Thomas, his wife Kristine Preziosi, and children, Hailey, 18; Colter, 15; and Claire, 12.
Father Donovan served several assignments in Texas: Christ Church, Mexia; Associate Rector, Trinity, Galveston; and St. Stephen’s Church, Beaumont, before accepting a call to St. Paul’s Church, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, at which time he fell in love with Mexico, its people and its culture.
Upon returning from Mexico, Father John (as he was endearingly called) served as rector of Trinity Church. During his tenure at Trinity he served on many community boards, including The Seaman’s Center, the Red Cross, Rotary, the Galveston Historical Foundation, Animal Use and Care Committee, UTMB, St. Vincent’s House, and the Galveston Ministerial Association. He started the Advent Pilgrimage between downtown churches, which continues today.
John retired from Trinity Church in 1995. While he kept Galveston as his primary residence, he spent much of his time in Mexico, visiting grandchildren in the Southwest, and traveling with his wife.
He was beloved by all who knew him. His strength and steadiness were grounded in his deep faith. His love for his parishioners was the love of a shepherd for his flock, and was reflected back to him in their deep love for him.
He was a sweet, kind, and noble man who adored his family and The Church (his other family). He also had a deep affection for language, music, and culture.
Those wishing to make memorial contributions should make them to Trinity Church, the Rosenberg Library, the 1894 Opera House, or a charity of their choice.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, December 6, 2019, at 11:00 a.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 2216 Ball Avenue, Galveston, Texas 77550 with The Rt. Rev. Andy Doyle and The Rev. Susan Kennard officiating.