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Martha J. Donovan
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Obituary for Martha J. Donovan

Martha J. Donovan, 73, died peacefully on May 12, 2018 at her home, surrounded by loved
ones.

Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, in 1945, Martha attended Annunciation grade school in Green
Bay (where she learned perfect penmanship), Edgewood High School in Madison (Class of
1963, where she learned perfect spelling and grammar), and St. Norbert’s College in DePere
(Class of 1967, where she learned perfect business skills and polished her incomparable style
and grace).

Martha lived and worked in several cities, including Madison, Amsterdam, Denver, Dallas,
Washington D.C., and Milwaukee, but the true home of her heart would always be Chicago. The Loop, Wrigleyville, Marshall Fields, the Schubert Theater, Lakeshore Drive, Navy Pier,
Millennium Park, Gino’s East and Ed Debevic’s were hers. She loved showing them off to any
and all visitors.

Martha’s gregarious nature fueled her love of life, dedication to work and passion for music and art. She enjoyed a long and successful career in corporate and real estate management. She was most proud of her work at KLM Airlines in Amsterdam, Quaker Oats and Navy Pier in
Chicago and Union Station in Washington D.C. Most recently, she relished her job as a copy
editor and mentor for the national program management firm, Brailsford & Dunlavey.
Martha was also a dedicated volunteer, working for Hospice, a community food pantry and
passionately pursuing the registration of new voters. She worked tirelessly to help elect
President Barack Obama. She loved you, Mr. President.

More than anything else, Martha loved spending time with family and friends. Martha was many things to many people, but she was perhaps best known as “Aunt Martha,” “Muppie,” “Muffy,” or “Auntie M,” to more than 50 lucky nieces, nephews, godchildren and their friends. Your amazing ability to talk like Donald Duck will always make us smile.

A special shoutout has to go to “The Girls,” a group of dear friends Martha had known most of
her adult life. She cherished each one of you and loved your annual gatherings. And to her long- time friends from high school, who were a source of joy and support for her from the earliest days.

No review of Martha’s life would be complete without mentioning her love of words and music.
She loved working crossword puzzles and playing games with anyone who dared compete with her. Only Stephen Sondheim knew his lyrics better than Martha. She was a walking
encyclopedia of musical theater. None left her presence without awe for her mastery of
language and knowledge of the world.

Martha was preceded in death by her parents, William Jeremiah Donovan and Katheryne Mary (Remmel) Donovan; her sisters Carol (Donovan) Buckley, Susan (Donovan) Russo, Eileen (Donovan) Jicha; and her nephew, William Buckley.

She is survived by her sister Mary Kay (Donovan) Georgia, her brother-in-law Lowell Georgia,
14 nieces and nephews, 27 great-nieces and nephews, 9 great-great-nieces and nephews and many godchildren and friends whom she always considered family.

In lieu of flowers, Martha invited people to make a donation in her name to the charity of their
choice, but more than that, Martha wanted to leave everyone with these parting words: “GO
Vote!”


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