Richard J. “Dick” Donovan, of Minoa, passed away suddenly on Saturday. Dick was born in Alexandria Bay, the only child of Claude and Clara (Dygert) Donovan, and was a graduate of Potsdam High School and CCBI. He went on to be a successful paper salesman in the Upstate NY region for over 40 years. After retirement, he supported the Syracuse Orange by working as an usher at the Dome for a couple of years. He was most recently employed by East Syracuse Chevrolet as a shuttle driver, what he considered to be the dream job of his retirement years.
Dick lived a life full of community service; he selflessly worked to improve the lives of others. Within the Minoa Kirkville Athletic Association, he was a coach, a referee, an umpire, as well as the President of MKAA. He was a member of the Minoa Fire Department, the founder of the Minoa Junior Fire Department, and he served as the Fire Commissioner. He was the Deputy Mayor of Minoa for 8 years and Mayor of Minoa for 12 years. He served as the President of the Onondaga County Mayor’s Association, was a member of the NY State Mayor’s Association, and served as the President of the New York State Conference of Mayors. Some of his special accomplishments include being a part of the team that built the MKAA Little League field. He also spent 8 years planning the current Minoa Village Hall and was instrumental in the successful completion of the project. Near and dear to his heart was his affiliation with ESM students and their research projects at the Cleanwater Educational Research Facility (CERF) in Minoa, and the connection of this program to SUNY ESF.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Phyllis; his children John (Beth) Donovan and Beth (Kevin) Merriman; sister-in-law Carol Foran; four grandchildren Taylor and Marc Donovan and Joel and Renee Merriman; and nieces and nephews Deb (Ed) Diederich, Kevin (Karen) Foran, Michelle (Don) Dempsey, Terry Jr. (Pat) Foran, Sean (Mary) Foran, and Chris (Alisa) Foran. Dick loved fully and selflessly, always had an easy , carefree way about him, and was just an extra-special person. He will be loved forever and long remembered.
Family and friends may call from 5:00 to 8:00 pm Friday, January 4 at R.H. Schepp & Son Minoa Chapel, 6530 Schepp’s Corners Rd. (corner of Kirkville Rd.), Minoa. The funeral service will be 2:00 pm on Saturday, January 5 at the funeral home. A celebration of his life will follow at the Village Hall, 240 N. Main St., Minoa.
Contributions may be made to the Richard J. Donovan Scholarship Fund; c/o East Syracuse-Minoa Central School District, 407 Fremont Rd., East Syracuse, NY 13057 or Clear Path for Veterans, 1223 Salt Springs Rd., Chittenango, NY 13037.