Timothy Daniel DonovanMarch 2, 1951 ~ January 19, 2017 (age 65)
Madison - Timothy D. Donovan, 65, found his peace Jan. 19, 2017 at Agrace Hospice in Fitchburg, Wisconsin following a brief illness. He was born to Dr. John L. Donovan and June Donovan (Schecker) Estes on March 2, 1951 in Neenah, Wisconsin.
Tim graduated from Neenah High School in 1969 and enlisted in the Wisconsin Army National Guard in 1971. He attended UW-Stevens Point, graduating in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in communications. His first career position was at WAOW TV-9 in Wausau, Wisconsin, where he was a reporter and news anchor. He worked as an audiovisual producer/director at Wausau Insurance Companies for 12 years. He was affiliated with Kinzie and Green Advertising with his production company, Take Two Communications. Tim moved to Madison in 1990 where he worked fulltime with the Wisconsin National Guard until his military retirement in 2011. He carried this passion for service into his post-National Guard work as the public affairs chief for the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, a VA facility in Madison until the time of his death.
Tim is survived by his wife Shirley (Mei Hung Ho), Elizabeth A. Eckardt, his ex-wife and mother to their children: Katie (Kirk) Sousek, Michael (Colleen) Donovan, Mary (Mike) Boyle and Christine (Scott) Wyman, and eight grandchildren. He is further survived by his siblings J. Michael (Catherine) Donovan, Patrick J. (Samein San) Donovan and Daniel L. (Carol) Donovan. He is also survived by his faithful companion Mocha, a chocolate Labrador. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Tim’s dedication to service was evident by work at the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, membership in numerous veteran organizations, and his 38-year military career in the Wisconsin Army National Guard. Tim enlisted as a cannoneer in 1971 Battery C, 1st Battalion, 120th Field Artillery in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. Two years later he transferred to the 112th Public Information Detachment, which later would become the 112th Public Affairs Detachment, in Madison, joining the field that would define his career.
Tim earned a direct commission to first lieutenant in 1978, and served in a variety of leadership positions in the 112th Public Affairs Detachment including commander. During his time in command the unit took part in four REFORGER (Return of Forces to Germany) exercises and two overseas deployments to Central America. He also was in Saudi Arabia in November 1990, during Operation Desert Shield, and in Somalia in February 1993.
In May 1993 he transferred to the Wisconsin National Guard’s state headquarters, where he served in the public affairs office as a plans officer, assistant public affairs officer, and — beginning in January 1996 — public affairs director. His time as Wisconsin National Guard public affairs director occurred during a time when the National Guard elevated its posture in the Department of Defense, deploying multiple times around the world in support of operations in the global war on terror. Outside of wartime activities, Tim was often the voice of the Wisconsin National Guard for training activities and domestic operations, explaining to the public what the Wisconsin National Guard was doing and why it mattered.
Near the end of his distinguished military career, Tim deployed with the 32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team as its public affairs officer during its historic deployment in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom’s Joint Area Support Group-Central from February 2009 through January 2010. This was the Wisconsin National Guard’s largest operational deployment since World War II. Tim expertly oversaw public affairs operations as the brigade was deployed to bases all across Iraq during a time when the U.S. military was beginning to decrease its presence there and U.S. military bases were being transferred to the Iraqi military.
A highly decorated veteran, Tim retired from the Wisconsin National Guard in 2011. Among his many military awards are the Meritorious Service Ribbon with three oak leaf clusters, the Army Commendation Medal with two oak leaf clusters, the Humanitarian Service Medal, the Iraqi Campaign Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Medal.
A funeral service with full military honors will be conducted at 4 p.m. on Saturday March 11, 2017, at RYAN FUNERAL HOME, 2418 N. Sherman Avenue, Madison, Wisconsin National Guard Chaplain (Col.) Douglas Fleischfresser officiating. Visitation will be held from 3 p.m. until the time of service on Saturday at the funeral home.
A celebration of life will follow at Kavanaugh’s Esquire Club, 1025 N. Sherman Ave, Madison, Wisconsin, and will include a traditional military “roasting.”
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the veterans who receive care at William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital in Tim’s honor. Send to: William S. Middleton Memorial Hospital, Attn: Volunteer Services, 2500 Overlook Tr., Madison WI 53705. Questions can also be directed to Community Relations Service at (608) 280-7030.
Tim’s family holds his unwavering service to state and nation in the highest regard:
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
May the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And, until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
To view and sign this guestbook, please visit www.ryanfuneralservice.com