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In loving memory of
William Lane Donovan
  • November 24, 1922
  • -
  • May 14, 2018

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William Lane Donovan, 95, of Ocala passed away May 14, 2018 in Ocala. He was born to the late William and Ethel Donovan in Brooklyn, NY on November 24, 1922. He was a pilot with American Airlines for many years and  moved to Ocala around 2001 from North Carolina after retirement.  William served his country proudly in the United States Marine Corp and the United States Navy during WWII reaching the rank of Lieutenant. William attended Virginia Tech University for two years. He enjoyed skiing, sailing and was of Catholic faith.  William was preceded in death by his wife Elizabeth and is survived by daughter, Kristina Donovan Carmichael of Orlando; son, John Donovan of Mobile, 2-granddaughters: Kelliann Donovan of Mobile, AL and Katherine Elizabeth Carmichael of Orlando.

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  1. Cindy Keegan says:
    26 Mar 2019
    I will also miss the one and only Bill Donovan. He was a true American Patriot: faithful to friends, family and our Country. May you rest in peace Bill!

  2. Cindy Keegan says:
    26 Mar 2019
    May he rest in peace! I will also miss the one and only Bill Donovan. He was faithful to all friends, family & most of all his Country! We lost a wonderful patriot with the passing of Bill!
    Cindy Keegan

  3. Bill Whitehouse says:
    27 Jan 2019
    I am sending this tribute a bit late, as i did not realize we had lost him. I am proud to say that Bill was my boss for a couple of years, and mentor for life. He ran an ad for me in "Flight Operations" magazine, but did not charge me. I sent him a thank you note for not charging me for the ad. Within days he was on the phone wanting to know how bad I wanted to fly for a living. I told him I had a pilot's and aircraft maintenance licence,and was close to finishing my aeronautical degree. He said, how would you like to be the Midwestern Sales Manager for our magazine? I said Mr. Donovan I have never sold a pencil in my life, he said perfect I spent 4 years in college and came out a freshman we'll work perfect together! The rest is history, but I promise one thing, I don't think I ever considered changing jobs without contacting Bill for the go ahead. He was a true friend, and although sad he has passed I feel blessed for being able to call him a friend for all these years.

  4. Patrick Thurston says:
    20 Oct 2018
    These previous entries are each and all 100% correct, in Spades. You had to love the guy if you had any sense at all.
    I will see ya later, Bill.

  5. Robin Foote says:
    27 Sep 2018
    Bill was my Uncle. I miss him greatly. I miss the phone calls. I miss the stories and his sick humor. He was very funny. Always joking.
    He loved his wife, and children and friends.
    I do not know how he was able to stay close to so many people. He knew people in every industry, the super rich and the the less fortunate. He was incredible generous. He would give you the shirt off his back if needed, for real!
    Bills oldest son, JJ passed away yesterday. Just 4 months after his Bill.
    I will miss the conversations and learning about his past , his friends and my mom- his sister whom died in 1974. I was 11 years of age.
    I wish I asked more questions but listening was much more fun.
    Bill you reunited with your family and friends.Please give them all hugs and kisses from me!

  6. Amil Gargano says:
    06 Aug 2018
    I never thought the day would come.
    Bill Donovan was indomitable.
    In his nineties, he possessed the spirit and optimism of a teenager, the joy for life of a man in his prime, the original humor of a professional comedian, and an unflinching sense of loyalty to people whom he cared about deeply.
    He was always searching - an inquisitive desire to probe the answers to life’s unanswerable questions. Living alone and fiercely independent, he reflected on the life he had lived - of which he was open and brutally honest.
    He was as forthright and brave as anyone I have known.
    I will very much miss the regular phone calls
    over the many yesrs that were never less than an hour long and always funny and thought provoking.
    He was a great friend like no other.
    Sleep well, brother.

  7. BJ Sheffield Leister says:
    17 Jul 2018
    What a huge loss to those who enjoyed his company. One of the great storytellers. He lived an incredible life surrounded by just as many incredible friends. My heart is saddened by this loss. Consolation is that he will finally have more of his friends with him.

  8. Paula Katalinich says:
    25 Jun 2018
    I am saddened by Donovan's passing. He was a great guy with lots of stories to tell, and we use to have wonderful conversations on the phone. He was good friends with my father, Jerry Yarbrough, and I loved the stories they would tell about their younger years. I suppose they are off together...
    Take good care,
    Paula Katalinich

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