Robert W. Donovan ’46, a long-time Portland attorney and judge, died on April 2, 2009, in Portland, Maine.
He was born on December 4, 1924, in Portland and graduated from Portland High School, where he was class president and a member of debating teams that won 10 consecutive tournaments in four years. He served as an Air Force weather observer in World War II, attaining the rank of corporal. A member of Theta Delta Chi fraternity at Bowdoin, he graduated cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. He went on to graduate from Harvard Law School in 1949, and began practicing law in Portland, serving for many years as assistant corporate counsel and corporate counsel for the City of Portland. He was a member of the Cumberland County, Maine, and American bar associations, and was named president of the County Bar Association in 1968. He was a partner in the firm of Jensen, Baird, Gardner, Donovan and Henry when he was appointed to the Maine District Court in 1978. He simultaneously served as resident judge in Portland, coordinating judge for mediation, and as a member of the Judicial Responsibility Committee. He retired in 1988 but remained an active retired judge, presiding primarily in Bridgton District Court, until 1996. He was a lifetime fisherman, avid reader, and a self-described “desperate golfer and bridge player.” He is survived by Janice “Sadie” Hawkins Donovan, his wife of 22 years; a daughter, Susan Donovan Silver; a son, Robert Donovan ’85; three stepsons, Gerry Hawkins, Chris Hawkins, and Ed Hawkins; a stepdaughter, Janice A. Hawkins; four grandchildren; and three step-grandchildren. He was predeceased in 1976 by his first wife, Gene Schoen Donovan, to whom he was married for 29 years.