On Saturday, July 11, Donna Ovian Courtney retired peacefully into heaven. She was resting quietly in her home, and was surrounded by her family, at the time of her passing.
Born in Whitinsville, Massachusetts on August 6, 1953, Donna was the second child of Ann and Stephen Ovian, and was beloved by her parents, her older sister Nancy, and her younger siblings Stephen, Kathy and Lisa. She went on to graduate with honors from the University of Massachusetts in June of 1975 before accepting a job with National Public Radio.
Donna met her husband Thomas Courtney in 1982 in Dallas, Texas, and they married in November in 1983. Shortly thereafter, they moved to San Diego, California where their love would flourish for the next 37 years.
The grace, humor, and love that Donna Courtney lived with made her a joy to be around and was foundational to the lives of her children James, Stephen, and Katherine. Through many trips to the San Diego Zoo, museums, and baseball games, Donna Courtney filled the lives of her children with many happy memories, and taught them the importance of curiosity, integrity, honesty, and compassion. All three of her children went on to earn advanced degrees.
The highlight of every year for Donna was returning to Bristol, New Hampshire where she had spent her summers as a child. Donna celebrated the Fourth of July at Camp Wulamat, on the shores of Newfound Lake, with her parents and siblings over games of Cribbage, Scrabble, and Hearts. And Donna always made sure to have a lobster roll and a coffee milkshake waiting for her when she first arrived.
Donna was an avid runner, and she completed 28 half-marathons during her lifetime, and one full marathon. She treasured her early morning runs with her famous lady friends in Rancho San Diego. After 40 years of running, Donna traded in her running shoes for walking shoes and went on to complete the Susan G Komen 3 Day Walk three times; she was actively receiving chemotherapy during two of these 3 Day Walks.
A memorial service for Donna will be held at a future date that is yet to be determined.
Donna, we were so lucky to have you in our lives. You taught us to say Yes to Adventure!