Raymond (Ray) Donovan (SPC 1965-67)

August 3, 2021

We send our deepest sympathy to the family of Raymond (Ray) Donovan (SPC 1965-67) who sadly passed away on July 9, 2021 in Shepparton, aged 71 years, surrounded by his loving family. Ray was farewelled in a funeral service at St Brendan’s Catholic Church in Shepparton on July 28 and he is survived by his children Adam, Natalie and Baden and their extended family, including five grandchildren.

Ray Donovan, pictured in his matriculation humanities class photograph, in the 1967 College Annual.

Ray was a regular attendee of the College’s Old Collegians Association events, including Class Reunions and Shepparton regional dinners.

Ray grew up on the family farm at Learmonth where he learned some invaluable skills he put to work in the various districts he taught in. Ray attended SPC as a day student along with his brothers Patrick (SPC 1957-1959), Gerard (SPC 1958-59, PY1963), Brian (SPC 1965, PY1967) and Kevin (SPC 1965-69, PY1970). Their father Pat also attended SPC in the 1920-30s.
His favourite subject at school was Australian History and this also reflects his love of Australian poetry – think Lawson, Paterson etc.

Ray played in the SPC Second XVIII Football Team and the 1967 College Annual described “Ray’s consistency and tenacious approach to every game won him many kicks, which he used most effectively”.

On completion of his Matriculation, Ray studied at the Ballarat Teachers College and became a primary school teacher in the western district. He then moved to the Goulburn Valley and taught in a number of primary schools in the district and was also actively involved in football, the GV umpires Association and the Football Tribunal.

Ray donated a kidney to his brother Brian and they were the second longest surviving donor-recipients (39.5 years) in Australia. As a result of this donation, Ray and Brian became involved in the Australian Transplant Games, co-founded by Brian and his wife Pauline in 1988. Read more of Ray’s remarkable story, see below.
It was noted at the funeral that Ray had a passion for life, community and family, and was constantly stopped to have a yarn with someone he had taught, or someone he had met at the transplant games. His life has been described as selfless as he genuinely put others before himself.

Thank you to Old Collegian Shane McKinley (SPC 1965-67) for his help in preparing this tribute.