Mary Riley Donovan

September 5, 1931May 9, 2021

Mary Catherine Riley Donovan, 89, passed away on Sunday, May 9th, 2021 at home in Pensacola. She was born in Miles City, MT to Jonathon Dolliver and Mary Dorothy (Kittinger) Riley in 1931. Mary grew up there and in Stevensville, MT, graduating from high school in 1948. After completing her Bachelor and Master’s degrees from the University of Montana, she moved to Northern California in 1960 to teach at Monterey Peninsula College. In 1964, she married James F. Donovan at Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA and embarked on a new chapter as a Navy spouse. After living in Maryland, California, Hawaii and Tennessee, she and Jim moved to NW Florida in 1979 where they dropped anchor for the last time.

Mary was an expert skier, often found on the slopes of Squaw Valley, CA and Red Lodge, MT. She was a long-time volunteer for the Pensacola Sports Association and later with the Pensacola Open and Emerald Coast Classic golf tournaments. She raised two children while maintaining her amazing sense of humor. She was an active member of St. Thomas Moore Catholic Church. She enjoyed judging gymnastics, spending time outdoors in her garden, hiking, traveling with her family, and watching Auburn football.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Frances Driscoll, and brothers Bob, Jack and Leroy Riley. Survivors include her husband James, son Mark (Lynn), daughter Michelle, and her brother Dave Riley, along with numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins in Montana.

A celebration of her life is planned for late June 2021. In lieu of flowers, please consider saying a prayer for Mary at Mass or having a glass of wine at sunset in her memory.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Mary Riley Donovan

have a memory or condolence to add?

Mary Faye Manley

June 9, 2021

One of the areas we used to tease her about, before she met Jim,. If she didn’t come off the mountain she would find her skis cold company when she was old. She loved skiing!
She was a good cook too and was a lovely hostess.