Lehigh Valley

Michael Donovan dies of cancer

Cedar Crest prof served on City Council, ran for Allentown mayor in 2013

ALLENTOWN, Pa - Former Allentown City Council member and mayoral candidate Michael Donovan died of cancer Wednesday morning. 

Donovan was associate professor of business at Cedar Crest College in Allentown. "He had a passion for education and was a friend and mentor to many on campus," said a Cedar Crest spokesman.

Donovan began a four-year term on City Council in January 2008 and served two years as council's vice president.

He unsuccessfully ran against incumbent Ed Pawlowski as an independent in the 2013 mayoral election.

"I thank him for his service to our city," said Pawlowski, who announced Donovan's death on his Facebook page.

Donovan was recognized at the start of Wednesday night's City Council meeting.

Ray O'Connell, council president, said he served with Donovan when he first was elected to council.

"Today, we truly lost one of the good guys," said O'Connell.

He described Donovan as an extremely passionate and very caring man, who was ahead of his time in many ways.

"I learned a lot from Michael," said O'Connell. "Michael did not have a mean bone in his body. He was not mean-spirited at all."

He also said Donovan "looked out for the little guy."

Donovan is survived by two sons, Will and Ned Donovan, and by his step-daughters Catya Donahower and Devan Turcotte.

Resident Rich Fegley read a statement written by Ned Donovan during the City Council meeting.

"Serving on this council was one of the highlights of my father's life," wrote Ned Donovan. "My father always wanted to get involved in politics and this body allowed him to truly find his voice as a politician."

Ned Donovan said he hopes council members will remember his father's priorities as they make decisions about the challenges facing Allentown.

"My father stressed the community over the individual and he made sure to treat the janitor the same as the CEO. He was adamant that the rights of the little guy must be protected in order to better society.

"When there are two options, take the one towards love and compassion. And always strive toward more inclusive, respectful and caring community."

Ned Donovan also wrote that his father believed no groups are more important than any other and that engaging the entire community is important when working to solve the problems facing a city, "but especially under-represented and under-appreciated voices."

The statement said Donovan died "after a long battle with cancer.

The professor had his own blog: "A Positive Life: Finding Reasons to Keep Going."

Donovan received his B.A. in political science from Bowdoin College in Maine, his M.B.A. from Columbia University Graduate School of Business in New York and was a certified management accountant according to Cedar Crest.

Before he began teaching at the college in August 2004, his career included municipal and international banking with the Bank of Boston, industrial engineering with Data General Corporation, general manager of a microcomputer retailer and director of an economic development agency.


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