BEN NEIL DONOVAN
Ben Neil Donovan, 82, died Nov. 24, 2010 at Olathe Medical Center.
Memorial service will be held 5:00 pm Sat., Nov. 27, 2010 at Bruce Funeral Home, Gardner, KS (913) 856-7111. Visitation will be held from 3:00-5:00 pm at the funeral home before the service. Private family committal at a later date at Gardner Cemetery. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, Gardner, KS where the Donovan’s have been members for over five generations.  Condolences may be sent to www.brucefuneralhome.com
Ben was born to Jack and Flossie Donovan in Gardner, KS on Dec. 13, 1927. The family moved to the farm west of town in 1929 and later Ben was schooled at Four Corners School; a one room eight-grade rural school. He graduated from Gardner High School and served two years in the Navy immediately after graduation. When he returned from the Navy he attended Kansas State Univ.  Ben was raised on the farm and returned to farming three times during his adult years. When he was not farming he was a sales representative for several companies. Over the years Ben lived in five other states including Alaska but always called Gardner home. Ben and Barb returned to Gardner in 1991 and set about building their retirement home. Barb designed the green home and Ben, with the help of his three sons and many friends built the home. The hands lent by family and friends continued a tradition that was not much different from the one used by Ben’s two sets of great- grandparents who in 1865 homesteaded land located within four miles of the home he built.
Ben married Margie Hendricks in 1946. They were the parents of four children but were divorced. In 1968 Ben married Barbara Jensen. They have been married for 41 years. Barbara has been the constant guiding light in his life providing unconditional acceptance and unqualified love and friendship. In their spare time they enjoyed fishing and had dipped their lines into the waters of several states including Hawaii, Florida and Alaska, and in Canada as well.
Ben is preceded in death by his parents Jack and Flossie Donovan. He is survived by his wife Barbara, his children Neila Donovan and husband Michael Hammer, Baton Rouge, LA, Mitchell Donovan, Wellsville, KS, Bradley Donovan, Saline, MI, Tracy Donovan and wife Kim, Gardner, KS, Steve Gish, Olathe, KS and Susan Belanger and husband Paul, Deepwater, MO; ten grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, his brother Richard Donovan and wife Marilyn and their three children, Albuquerque, NM.