Cornelius “Neal” Donovan

CORNELIUS “NEAL” DONOVAN is the son of Richard and Blanche Johnson Donovan. He was born on February 18, 1929.

Photo credit: Neal and Ellen Dunne Donovan, wed on November 18, 1950.

Neal married Ellen Cecelia Dunne (born January 17, 1931) on November 18, 1950. They had nine children:

  • Richard farms the Shanahan farm adjacent to the family farm he grew up on. The Shanahan farm was an early settlement by the Irish. Richard married Connie Kennedy in 1973. They have one son:
    • Robert
  • Tom farms the O’Connell farm, which is another of the early Irish farm settlements. Tom married Sandy Birky in 1979. They have four children:
    • Emily
    • Timothy
    • Rose
    • John (John now owns the Donovan family farm he grew up on.)
  • Constance married Paul Taylor. They have no children.
  • Patricia married Marty Ryan. They have no children.
  • Nora is single.
  • Jim (Cornelius James) married Linda Rodriguez. They have two children:
    • Cornelius James (Jimmy)
    • Alexandria (Alex)
  • Christine married Glen Ehlinger. They have four children:
    • Sam
    • Claire
    • Elijah
    • Katie
  • Kathleen married Chris Frerichs. They have three children:
    • Joseph
    • Elizabeth
    • Anne
  • Susan is single.

Neal Donovan Obituary – Posted by Leonard Funeral Home & Crematory (Dubuque, IA) – July 20, 2019

Cornelius (Neal) L Donovan, 90, formerly of rural Bernard died Saturday July 20, 2019, at Shady Rest Care Center, Cascade, Iowa.

Funeral mass will be at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, July 27, 2019, at St. Patrick’s Garryowen, Bernard, Iowa, with Fr. Douglas Loecke officiating. Burial will follow at the church cemetery.

Family and friends may call from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, July 26th, at Leonard Funeral Home & Crematory, 2595 Rockdale Rd where there will be a prayer service beginning at 2:00pm.

Neal was born in Jackson County, Iowa, to Richard and LuLu “Blanche” (Johnson) Donovan on February 18, 1929. Neal attended school in a one-room schoolhouse in Jackson County.

Neal married Ellen Dunne of Andrew, Iowa, at St. John’s Catholic Church in Andrew on November 18, 1950. After several moves, they purchased and occupied the original homesteaded Donovan family farm where they raised their nine children, farmed and resided for over 50 years.

He is survived by his nine children: Richard (Mary Lou), of Bernard, Tom, of Zwingle, Connie, of Cedar Rapids, Pat (Marty) Ryan of Waterloo, Nora (Lee) of Ft. Worth, TX, Jim (Linda), of Austin, TX, Chris (Glen) Ehlinger, of Marion, Kathy (Chris) Frerichs, of Cedar Rapids and Susan of Chicago, IL. He is also survived by thirteen grandchildren and fourteen great grandchildren.

Neal is also survived by one sister, Lois Houselog of Dubuque and a brother Frank Donovan of Santa Rosa, CA, brother-in law Bill (Mary Jean) Dunne of formerly of Bernard, sister’s-in-laws Jean Dunne of Bellevue and Donna (Maury) Sturm of Dubuque in addition to many nieces and nephews.

Preceding him in death was his wife Ellen in 2013, Sister Donna Brenke, Brother Gerald (Buzzy) and his wife Joan, and brother-in-law Joe Dunne.

While Neal would describe himself first as a farmer, he was an accomplished auctioneer and real estate agent involving agriculture. The stories he would weave will forever be etched in many family and area residents’ minds.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Neal Donovan memorial fund. The family would like to extend their appreciation to Riverbend Retirement Community, Shady Rest Care Center and Dubuque County Hospice for their care and kindness.