January 1, 1931 – September 8, 2021
Richard C. Donovan
St. Clair Shores resident Richard “Dick” Donovan, a former longtime resident of Grosse Pointe, passed away Wednesday, Sept. 8, 2021.
He was born Jan. 1, 1931, to James Carroll Donovan and Florence Irene Donovan, both now deceased. Dick grew up on a farm in Paw Paw. He thrived as a star athlete at his high school, setting records during his time there.
In 1948, Dick attended the University of Notre Dame, where he earned a degree in mechanical engineering. While there, he met many people who became lifelong friends. During his college years, he continued to cultivate his Catholic faith, which remained an integral part of his life. Dick loved watching and attending Notre Dame football games and throughout his life always adhered to the “Play Like a Champion Today” mantra that is Notre Dame. He was very proud to be a Notre Dame graduate. Immediately out of college, Dick began working in the automotive industry and became a sales representative, living throughout the Midwest, including Milwaukee, Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit. In 1962, Dick met the love of his life, Lois. Within a short time they married and remained devoted to one another until Lois’ passing three months ago.
In 1964, Dick founded Dytron Corp., suppliers of welding products to various industries throughout Michigan, the United States, as well as internationally. For nearly 60 years, work was an extremely important part of Dick’s life. Last year, at 89 years old, he decided to stop going to the office six days a week by setting up a home office where he was able to check in with the day-to-day operations of the business.
Family was incredibly important to Dick. He and Lois welcomed their son, James Anthony Donovan, and a few years later their daughter, Mary Kathleen Donovan. They raised their children in Grosse Pointe. As children, Friday nights would start with a walk to the store where a toy or a treat was picked out before he and Lois had a date night.
Dick was a very hands-on father, never missing a sports event or activity that was important to his children. Every year at spring break, Dick and his family traveled to a different part of the country. Summers were spent at the cottage, “Cherokee,” where kids and adults alike played tennis, swam in Lake Michigan and enjoyed “snipe” hunts. The adults were known to have epic bridge games that would go on into the night. Many of Dick’s family and friends spent time there.
Dick was a devout Catholic and active at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church. He was a Eucharistic minister, as well as longtime treasurer of the St. Vincent DePaul Society at St. Paul. Dick was extremely charitable in both large and small ways. He was willing to do anything for anyone in need, including things he did for people his family is just now becoming aware of. He was a very kind and generous man, they said.
He was predeceased by his wife, Lois J. Donovan; brother, Lawrence Donovan; and dear cousin, Margaret Stack.
Dick is survived by his son, James Donovan (Kathie) and daughter, Mary Kay Golia (Antonio). He was extremely proud of his grandchildren, Margaret Golia and Antonio Golia. Dick also is survived by his sister-in-law, Janet Donovan; niece, Teri Springer; and extended family and dear friends. Private arrangements are being made by the family.
The family requests donations be made to the Society of St. Vincent DePaul Detroit, svdpdetroit.org; or, in memory of Dick and Lois, carry out an act of kindness for someone.