John Edward Donovan
18 May 1955 – 31 Oct 2018
Rejoice, my friends! Don’t cry for me.
Rejoice, I say, for my spirit is free!
No longer bound to earthly tent
Nor constrained by mortal bent.
Rejoice, my friends! I am free!
John Edward Donovan, 63, of Niceville, FL, went to be with the Lord on October 31st, 2018 after a short battle with cancer. John will be remembered for the extreme passion he brought to every undertaking and relationship; as dad, brother, friend, lover, boss, sailor, or fisherman, an activity he indulged at every opportunity throughout his life. Whether outsmarting snook in the Florida Keys, redfish in the bayou, or grouper offshore, John always got something to take the bait. His sharp wit and keen intellect allowed him to excel at anything he set his mind to. John retired from Panhandle Iron & Scrap in Dothan, AL in 2016, where he had served as General Manager and Chief Operating Officer since 2007. John knew his way around a kitchen as well, achieving the title of Executive Chef at a fine-dining restaurant in Key West at the age of 24 and later as managing partner of Donovan’s Reef Raw Bar & More on Lower Matecumbe Key. John loved everything about the water, living aboard his beloved sailboat, the “V-Tach”, and exploring every nook and cranny of all the local lakes, rivers and bayous in his custom motorized kayak. In his earlier life he worked as deckhand and first mate on a number of commercial fishing vessels as well as charter and party boats. John was a veteran of the U.S. Navy. He is survived by his sons Seth Daniel Pauley and Nicholas Johnathon Reaver, sisters Cathy Koretz and Patty Donovan, brother and sister-in-law Joe and Billie Donovan, many nieces and nephews, and a multitude of friends. He was preceded in death by his parents John and Viola Donovan.