Robert Patrick Donovan (Bob) passed away on November 5, 2019 at Grand Oaks Assisted Living in Jensen Beach, FL. He was 89 years old. Bob was born on September 3, 1930 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Richard Patrick and Edith Harley Donovan.
Robert grew up in Norristown, PA. He attended Girard College in Philadelphia, PA from first grade through high school, graduating in 1947. He graduated MIT in 1952. He served as a fighter pilot in the US Air Force. He retired from the Air Force Reserves as a Lieutenant Colonel. He received a Masters degree in physics from the University of Pennsylvania in 1959. He then worked at Westinghouse for several years before accepting a position in 1962 as a physicist with the Research Triangle Institute in Durham, NC, where he worked for 32 years. He was a talented author and lecturer, editing several books and delivering technical presentations domestically and abroad. In addition, he held several patients. Much of his work concerned improving manufacturing processes in support it the semiconductor industry. Robert completed his professional career working as a Process Engineer at the Contamination Free Manufacturing Research Center at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 2004.
Robert married Gail Suzanne Tyre in 1958 in Philadelphia,PA. They were happily married for 36 years. He enjoyed sports, fitness and exercise. He played lacrosse in college, was a member of Master’s swimming programs in Durham and Albuquerque. For recreation, he enjoyed skiing (water and snow), and participated in a variety of water related activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling and sailing. In later years he attended classes organized by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Wilmington Delaware and was especially interested in poetry classes. He enjoyed writing short stories and was a voracious reader.
Robert is survived by his daughter Denise Medolla; his sons, Patrick Donovan, William Donovan, and John Donovan; his sister Allene Hopman; 4 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife Gail Donovan.
A visitation will be held at Hall-Wynne Funeral Service, 1113 W Main St, Durham, NC on November 8, 2019 from 5-7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday November 9, 2019 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 810 W Chapel Hill St, Durham, NC at 12:00 p.m. A Rite of Christian Burial will follow at Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens.