Jo Ann Edna Donovan, cherished wife, beloved sister, loving mother and devoted grandmother, passed away Dec. 14, 2020 amidst prayers and words of love from her family, and was released from her worldly suffering into the loving open arms of her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, his Blessed Mother Mary along with St. Anne, Mary’s mother; all instrumental influences in Jo Ann’s entire life .
Born to mother Edna Finnegan-Morrison Babiash and Lawrence J. Babiash on June 18, 1940 in Green Bay, WI, she was a graduate of Green Bay West High School Class of 1958 and was the middle child in a family of 13 living children; baby Beverly Ann Babiash, Lawrence Gerald (Gerry) Babiash, William (Bill) Edward Babiash, John (Jack) Michael Babiash, Francis (Buddy) Sophus Babiash and Fabian Patrick Babiash who all preceded her in death, and Phyllis June Ciranni, Evelyn Mary Babiash, Marlin Marie Wolf, Sharmaine Kathleen Socha, David Franklin Babiash, Wayne (Butch) Joseph Babiash, and Steven Raymond Babiash survive her still.
Jo Ann was a Medical Receptionist and Long-Distance Telephone Operator with Wisconsin Bell Telephone Co. in Green Bay, very active socially, spiritually, through St. Patrick’s Parish and her life, and athletically as she began to recognize her many natural athletic abilities. While still young she loved the outdoors in all seasons, especially endurance/long distance swimming, adventuring and being among wild things in wild places and like many her age felt alive, eager to experience and explore the greater world outside.
Through close personal relationships in her adventuresome girls’ group, JoAnn and several other close friends became original Green Bay Packerette Cheerleaders, and also Bobbetes, Ambassadors and Hostesses for the Green Bay semi-Pro Hockey Team, the BobCats, under the formation and instruction of Dance Instructor Ms. Charlotte Meyer in Green Bay.
Also during this time period she met the love of her life, Thomas A. (Tom) Donovan, and married him on August 3, 1963 when he returned from a two-year tour as an Air Traffic Controller: Tower Operator in Japan with the U.S. Air Force. Their life took them from Wisconsin, to Oklahoma, Michigan and California where they raised their three children and then to Montana and Arizona where they continued their adventures.
She leaves behind her children Julie Lynn Donovan, Jeffrey Thomas Donovan and Michelle Kathleen Donovan (Dan) Sevier; grandchildren, Alexandra Beck, Abby and Bridget Crowley, Jennifer Hernandez, and Parker, Sophia, Leland, Cecilia and Cole Sevier; and 2 great-grandchildren.
Jo Ann always gave of herself, found reasons to laugh and chose to forgive. She loved her family, her friends, her volunteer work especially if it involved children, teaching in Parish Religious Education Programs, traveling, outdoor adventures and the Green Bay Packers! She is missed terribly and her legacy is the family and friends including children, who knew love and joy because of her!
Jo Ann’s memorial service will be held on Thursday, May 13, 2021 at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church with a Rosary recited at 9:30 a.m., Mass and Celebration of Life at 10 a.m. A reception will immediately follow at the American Legion Madera Post 131 Main Hall on Esperanza in Green Valley: 11:15 a.m. until 2 p.m.
Respectfully, in spite of her great love of flowers, Jo Ann would truly most appreciate any gifts or monies instead be sent to St Jude’s Children’s Hospital or Catholic Relief and Social Services. Thank you. JoAnn’s grateful Husband and beautiful family.