Cover photo for James Elvin Donovan's Obituary
James Elvin Donovan Profile Photo
1943 James 2021

James Elvin Donovan

July 9, 1943 — November 16, 2021

James Elvin Donovan (“Jim” or “Jimmy D”), 78, of Westerville OH, passed away on November 16, 2021, after a brief illness. He had a lot of love in his heart, and he gave it all away freely...every last drop. He is now with his beloved wife of 57 years—Sandra Eversole Donovan—who preceded him in death by 10 months. If you knew Jim, then you knew what a kind and wonderful man he truly was.

Jim was born on July 9th, 1943, to the late Juren Estel and Drucilla B. Donovan in Ashland, KY. A standout athlete in multiple sports, Jim was a High School Prep All-American and All NEKC selection. After Jim graduated from Catlettsburg High School in 1961, he went on to attend Eastern Kentucky University and Morehead State University graduating with a master’s degree in Education.

His passion for sports was matched by his passion for educating children. In his early years as an educator, Jim combined these passions to coach basketball and teach history. During his educational tenure he served as a: teacher, coach, counselor, principal and district administrator. Jim helped countless students throughout his career spanning nearly 40 years.

Jim was an exceptional listener, counselor, confidant, friend, avid golfer, fisherman, hunter, reader, historian, and lover of life and all the good things in it. Jimmy D was the life of the party, and what a party his life was!

His family adored him. He was a dedicated son, husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and member of his community. He sacrificed greatly for them all. He will be missed but never forgotten.

In addition to his parents and beloved wife, he was also preceded in death by his niece Sarah Ogrosky Stellings.

He is survived by his daughter Katy (Jim) Myers; son Jay (Missy) Donovan; grandchildren; Joli Myers, Kassie Myers, Jake Donovan, and Mattie Donovan; sibling Dee (Tom) Shoemaker; nieces and nephews DeeAnna (Mark) Chickerella, Mary Lee Power, Allison (Don) Wagner, Anne (Nitin) Mall, Elynor (Jeff) Moxley, Sarah (Mike) Brennan, Alex Eversole, and Lee Eversole; siblings-in-law Meridythe (Wally) McLean, Deborah (George) Stellings, and Jesse (Susan) Eversole.

To honor both Jim and Sandy Donovan, there will be a visitation at Gard Funeral Home, 226 W. Main Street, Eaton, Ohio, 45320, from 3:00 - 5:00 pm on Monday, November 29, 2021.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the Preble County Youth Foundation, PO Box 172, Eaton, Ohio 45320.

Online condolences and other remembrances may be sent to the family by visiting

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James Elvin Donovan, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, November 29, 2021

3:00 - 5:00 pm (Eastern time)

Gard Funeral Home & Cremation Services - Eaton

226 West Main Street, Eaton, OH 45320

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