Friday, March 19, 2010

RIP Susie Ann Donovan

We’ve lost another member of the Just One Minute family.

Susie Ann Donovan was “Bad” at JOM. After a long bout with cancer she passed away this Monday. Here is a link to her obituary.

Because of her initials, she used to be "Sad" on JOM, but was convinced to change that name because it in no way reflected her attitude and spirit.

Jane recounts that story here, as well as supplying a very beautiful tribute to our friend.

When I first learned of Sue’s battle with cancer, and the fact that she had teenage children, I took the opportunity to email her with whatever feeble words of encouragement I could muster.

Instead of relying just on my own words to convey what an incredibly beautiful person Sue was, I would like to share some of the response she sent to me in our first email exchange. It helps paint the picture of just who she was.

Sent: Friday, February 16, 2007 10:32 AM

My children are 18, 15 and 13. My goal is to be sure that their faith increases and the family unit is strengthened by the time I pass away if that is what must be. To blow the parenting gig now would be silly and pointless since I've spent nearly 19 years devoted to my family and volunteer work. Our wonderful children have salvation and are part of an incredible church family. Our neighborhood is loving and nurturing as well. Frank and I have the rare opportunity to demonstrate our faith and the power of God's love in the time we have left together. We have always told our children that they were equipped to deal with anything life handed them and it seems we were actually right! They are awesome.

I would like to take credit for having a great attitude but there are many factors allowing me great hope and peace.

We aren't suffering income deprivation because I haven't worked in nearly 19 years and my husband provides very well for our family. The kids have college funds and Frank's insurance is allowing me the best, most advanced treatment for this very rare and lethal cancer. I am only 47 and very healthy with no underlying health conditions other than the cancer.

I'm so grateful that it is me with the cancer and not my husband or children. I can bear many burdens for myself that would be too difficult to watch my family carrying.

My children are no longer babies and toddlers. Our household runs smoothly and efficiently because they are so self sufficient. I already have glimpses of the awesome men and woman they will be because of their humor and grace now.

Frank is a very strong, solid man. He will be a rock in their life for as long as he lives.

I have a wonderful life and everything in the world to live for because God has blessed us in every way possible. I will not waste the brain chemistry on negativity and fear. Everyday is a gift and one more day to love and be loved by my family.

Thank you so much for your encouragement and especially your humor. I don't know anyone who has cancer of the funny bone, yet it seems to be my most effective organ and those who feed it saints. I hope all is well with you and yours and God blesses you with untold posterity and happiness.

I had the privilege of meeting Sue in person last summer. I was in town and we arranged to meet for lunch. She invited me into her home and also arranged for all of her kids to stop by and meet me (yes, the kids questioned her sanity in inviting a stranger she met on the internet into their home – and they probably only showed up for lunch to help ensure her safety against the likely wacko who would arrive). She was not lying above about her kids being awesome.

It was a wonderful lunch, and Sue was as engaging and joyous in person as she always was online. There simply is no way to spend time with Sue and not be encouraged. There simply is no way to spend time with Sue and not laugh out loud. Constantly. She wrung the humor out of anything and everything in life with an infectious laugh that seemed never to stop. And you never wanted it to stop.

Sue’s signature line in a number of our emails went like this:

We are kicking cancer’s butt and choosing happiness everyday.

She kicked the hell out of a cancer that was supposed to have taken her life years ago. She not only chose happiness in how she approached life – but she delivered it to others in quantities most people can only dream of doing.

Even while cancer was slowly eating away at her body, she was busy breathing life into everyone with whom she came in contact.

There will never again be anyone like Sue. I was immeasurably blessed to have known her.

My prayers turn now to husband Frank and children Clay, Patrick and Katie.

May God wrap each of you in His love and comfort.

I should have thought of this before, here is a word from her husband about what her friends online can do in her memory:

PS: If any of her online friends would like to do something for her, she has specifically asked that contributions be made to any of four special causes that mean so much to her.

Sue has always had a green thumb and loved to work in her flower beds. She also loves her church and in particular wants to support the “ Oak Tree Park ” project that is part of a beautification effort on the church property.

Sue has always loved kids and had made it her mission to reach out to them and nurture them anytime she had the opportunity. Delana was one of the kids at our church that Sue loved and she has grown up, gotten married and is doing mission work in Peru and Sue wants to continue to support Delana and her work.

Anyone that knows Sue will know how she leveraged her love of kids to become the ultimate Band Booster for two local High School Bands. Our oldest son Clay attended Summit where he was a Drum Major. Our daughter Katie started at Summit but she was re-zoned to Legacy when that new school opened and was the Color Guard Captain. Through all of these years Sue was the ultimate Band Booster, volunteer coordinator and Band Mom to so many of the kids, many of whom have visited her over the last few days to let her know how much of a difference she made in their lives. Sue loves both programs and wants to encourage support for both.

Donations can be made as follows:

South Oaks Baptist Church
The “ Oak Tree Park ” Project
5925 Hwy 287
Arlington, TX 76017

Delana and Bryan Davis, Missionaries - Peru
Global Ministries
c/o South Oaks Baptist Church
5925 Hwy 287
Arlington, TX 76017

Summit Band Boosters
c/o Brad Bonebrake
Summit High School
1071 W. Turner Warnell Rd
Arlington, TX 76001

Legacy Band Boosters
Sue Donovan Memorial Fund at Frost Bank
You can donate at any Frost Bank location or mail donation to:
Legacy Bronco Band Boosters
P.O. Box 450
Mansfield, TX 76063


  1. What a wonderful post!
    The day was always brighter at JOM after reading one of her posts.
    May she Rest in Peace!
    God bless her family and friends.

  2. I have no idea why Google doesn't show it but the 11:15 is from Pagar.

  3. Hit,

    What a great tribute to a dear friend. I loved her playfulness. She always made me smile, whether we were fighting for "dibs" over this politician or that politician or just saying Obama sucks, her literally or us figuratively. I remember her saying, after telling us about the cancer, that her goal was to get her children grown. While I still consider them very young, in reality she did it. They are grown and will always remember the wonderful mother she was.

  4. There was mention of some memorial sites that she wanted helped.
    I found the church site, but it doesn't mention the "Oak Tree Park"
    memorial. Does anyone know anything about it?

  5. Bad, such a beautiful woman, and a lovely brilliamt mind. She will be missed.

  6. Lost my first comment . . . will repeat:

    Thank you, Hit, for sharing that with all of us. We, like Susie, had time to consider that we would lose her. I am grateful that we also got to express our love for her (in very subtle goodbye emails toward the end) and that she was able to do the same with us.

    Your email with her fills in our own loving picture of her even more fully.

    God Bless.

  7. Thanks 11:32 for the reminder. I've updated the post with the email from Frank about the things she suggested we contribute to in her memory.

  8. Even with lots of warning, you can never be prepared... But, we take comfort in knowing that we haven't lost bad, we are simply having a short hiatus until we meet again.

    Eternal rest grant unto her, and may perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace.

  9. Thank you for sharing that,Hit.

  10. Thank you Jeff for this beautiful tribute post to "bad."

  11. Bad - just seeing her name always made me smile.

  12. Hit, thank you so much. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get over here and read this. Your tribute is lovely, and I especially appreciate your posting Sue's words, too. I feel so lucky to have known her even in so brief a way as we did on JOM.

    God bless her family. I hope they can take comfort in knowing they were loved and nurtured by the most wonderful of women.

  13. A couple years ago I stumbled upon this blog post by accident. I was feeling kind of lost that day and decided to "google" my mom's name. I don't know what I was expecting to find. Her obituary maybe. What I found was greater than anything I could have ever imagined. Being able to read my mom's own words years after her death was unexplainable. Thank you for sharing. I still drop by and read this post every once in awhile, especially on days when I'm feeling sad. Reading this reminds me to be "bad" rather than sad. :)

    My email address is I'd love to keep in touch!