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November, 2006


Moo Town News
By Judy Borello

Dapper Dan "Gone But Never Forgotten"
When Dan Donovan, aged 74, died on August 22, a shock wave shook the West Marin community like nothing I had ever even seen before. For the next week anywhere you went and everybody you talked to was in a state of astonishment mixed with a deep sadness that such a vibrant person that they relied on was gone in the snap of a finger.
He was born and raised in San Francisco and attended St. Ignatius High School, which was considered the most highly academic and sports driven school in the city. Tough and incredible Jesuits, a teaching order of Catholic Priests, were in charge of instructing the lads and had a reputation for teaching young boys, then turning them into honorable gentlemen.

I'm sure that this helped mold Dan's character, especially in the way he served his community with generosity of spirit, honor and compassion-true Jesuit beliefs that obviously Dan lived by.

He attended UC San Francisco and UC Berkeley. He served as a Captain in the US Air Force (1954-1956). Marriage followed with his wife Angela. The union was blessed with two sons and two daughters of whom he as very proud.

Dan bought the West Marin Pharmacy in 1983 and for 23 years he was, to quote Dr. Mike Witte, "an old school Renaissance man-a business man, an attorney, family counselor, and pharmacist"

Generous to a fault he would put people's health above money and never held back their needed medicine.

"Dapper Dan" was certainly true for Donovan's demeanor-always manicured, well-dressed, tall and straight, his hair always in place, and sauntering down the street by Toby's Feed Barn with a bouquet of flowers in his hand. As I watched him pass, I thought, "There goes a truly multi-faceted Renaissance Man!"

Learning from his adoring daughter Theresa, who also works at the Pharmacy, I was amused and amazed about her beloved father's private life.

He would read to small children playing all the characters in the story with creative talent. They would be in awe and found it very amusing, an experience they never forgot.

Dan was multi-lingual, speaking Spanish, French, and Japanese. Never considered totally fluid in all of these languages, but he could converse with people quite admirably.

When the children played sports, Dan insisted that all their teams come over to his house with their parents and partake at a party that he threw with great gusto at the end of the season.

Dan loved to dance and travel and he would spin his wife and daughters across the floor with the greatest of ease.

His favorite hobby was reading and reading he did-everything from soup to nuts. Educating himself constantly and, particularly when Theresa was growing up, she said there wasn't a question he couldn't answer.

Sometimes at the pharmacy, he's burst out, "Let's belly up to the bar-drinks are on Dan!" and they'd make a rush for the fridge and grab cans of pop.

Every Western Weekend Dan would don his one pair of boots, straw hat, and plaid shirt and off he'd go to enjoy the festivities.

We will all miss Dan Donovan immensely and always remember him talking to us with his glasses on the tip of his nose and giving us eye contact. But what we'll remember most of all was his generosity towards people of the community; especially the seniors.

Once we got the initial shock of his death behind us, we started being concerned about our pharmacy that took care of all West Marin.

We all agreed that there would not be another Dan Donovan, but please, someone step up to the plate and save our pharmacy. All of the West Marin coast would be S.O.L without it. And there is a glimmer of light!

As I talked to Theresa I found out that there is a lady pharmacist willing to train in as of November 1 and possibly take over the pharmacy. Money is not her first priority. Serving the community is!

Lets really support this lady and after November 1st, wander into the pharmacy and show her what a great community we are!

PS Please vote "yes" on Prop. 90 and stop the government from taking private homes, land and businesses and turning them over to developers!

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