( Photo courtesy FreshKist Produce; graphic by Amelia Freidline )

Dennis “Denny” Donovan, who spent almost three decades of his career at the Garin Co., Salinas, has died.

Donovan, who followed in his father’s footsteps in joining the produce industry, was 90.

In 1956, he began a 29-year tenure at the Garin Co., whose founders were instrumental in establishing Salinas as the iceberg lettuce capital. Donovan started as sales manager and eventually became general manager, according to his obituary in the Monterey Herald.

“The contribution Dennis made to the Garin Company was priceless,” Peter Garin wrote in condolence on the obituary website. “He steadied the course when the waters were rough, for that he is owed eternally.

“Speaking for my father and my family, we wish the Donovan family our deepest condolences,” Garin wrote. “Dennis was truly one of a kind, a gentleman, always.”

In 1986, Donovan joined Dole Fresh Vegetables, serving as general manager, overseeing sales. He was vice president of grower relations-berries when he retired from the industry in 2001.

He married Kathleen Rae McCauley. They were married for 47 years, until her death in 1998.

He served on the board of directors of the Hospice Foundation for the Central Coast, according to the obitiuary. Through the foundation, he met his companion, Linda McKee.

Survivors include McKee, sons Dennis and Michael Donovan, and daughters Sheila Nordwick and Patty Whitmore.

Donovan, the founder of the Monterey Business Council and a charter member of Corral de Tierra Country Club, was recently honored by the Grower-Shipper Association of Central California, Salinas, in a video honoring Salinas Valley produce pioneers.

Donations in his memory can be sent to:

  • New Camaldoli Hermitage, 62475 Highway 1, Big Sur, CA, 93920-9533;
  • The SPCA of Monterey County, P.O. Box 3058, Monterey, CA, 93942-3058.
  • San Francisco Junior Giants, c/o Giants Community Fund Oracle Park, 24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94107.

A celebration of life is at noon Feb. 21, at Corral de Tierra Country Club in Salinas.

Submitted by Michael Pierce on Tue, 02/18/2020 - 10:23

R.I.P. Denny Donovan

Submitted by Michael Pierce on Tue, 02/18/2020 - 10:23

R.I.P. Denny Donovan