Jerry Donovan died peacefully in the early morning hours of December 25, 2022 with his loving wife at his side. Jerry was the quintessential Irishman who was quick to pour you a drink with a broad smile on his face, a quick joke all while making a toast to life. He loved to dance and listen to music, and he was the ultimate party animal enjoying every social occasion with his friends and neighbors. Jerry was deeply loved by all who knew him and he will be dearly missed.
Jerry was born and raised in Washington D.C. and remained in the Washington Metropolitan area until retirement. He graduated from American University on a full scholarship from Giant Food and continued his education at Loyola College where he obtained his MBA. Jerry spent most of his career working for Giant Food, ending his 35 year tenure there as Vice President of Human Resources. During the majority of this time, he lived in Alexandria, VA where he single-handedly raised his five children. And in 1987, he married the love of his life, Missy. Following his retirement from Giant Food, Jerry went to work for his best friend at Patterson-Smith Insurance, a large independent insurance agency serving the Washington Metropolitan area.
Jerry and Missy retired to St. James Plantation in Southport, NC in October 2001 where he enjoyed a great deal of tennis and a bit of golf. He quickly joined the burgeoning tennis community at St. James ultimately becoming the captain of his USTA tennis team for many years and president of the St. James Tennis Association. For many years, Jerry enjoyed sharing his love of cooking as Chef Woo Chin in his Chinese cooking classes, assisted by his wife and Sous Chef, Sum Yung Chik. He thoroughly enjoyed gathering his students in their home and sharing his passion for cooking. Jerry was particularly proud to have been instrumental in establishing and later chairing the committee that designed and dedicated the Armed Services Memorial at the St, James Government Center.
He is survived by his loving wife of 35 years, Missy and five daughters: Debi Melius (David) of Warrenton, VA; Tami Parks (Tony) of Highpoint, NC; Karen Brown (Peter) of Dumfries, VA; Michelle Pijuan (Michael) of Wilmington, DE and Amy Swezey of Savannah, GA. He was preceded in death by his son, Larry Donovan and his daughter Sandra Waller. Jerry is also survived by 23 grandchildren and 36 great grandchildren.
A celebration of the life and times of Jerry Donovan will be held on January 27, 2023 from 2-4pm at The Members Club in St. James Plantation. Please come celebrate a life well lived with his family and friends and raise one final toast to this beloved man.
Memorial contributions may be made to Lower Cape Fear Hospice at 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, NC 28491.
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