Barbara Donovan Obituary (1954 – 2022) – Toledo, OH

Barbara L. Donovan

November 5, 1954 – February 14, 2022

Barbara L. Donovan (Zientara), 67, died February 14, 2022 at her home in Riga, Michigan, with her loving family by her side. Barbara was born November 5, 1954 in Toledo, Ohio to the late Richard and Rita Zientara (Nitz).

Barbara graduated from Bowsher High School in 1971 where she had previously met and married the love of her life, Michael Donovan. For the next 50 years of adventures, Barb and Mike raised three children in 21 homes and 4 states until they finally settled on their dream farmhouse in Riga in 1996.

Barb has spent most of her life working in medical administration beginning as a unit clerk at St. Vincent’s Hospital in the 1970s. She then worked as an office manager for a team of cardiothoracic surgeons, billing manager for a small cardiology practice, and most recently as a revenue maximizer for Mercy Health Care. Barb also worked as a waitress, receptionist, accountant, and even sold real estate in the early 2000s in southeast Michigan. By far, her proudest job titles were those of mother and grandmother – and she was a master at both.

Barb’s passions, besides her grandchildren, were her flowers, her long wraparound porch, and her antique collecting. She enjoyed traveling with Mike to Florida, the mountains of North Georgia, and the beaches of northern Michigan, especially Manistee. Barb read in the sun and watched Mike fish until it was time to go to the antique shops. For many years, the highlight of Barb’s life was hosting Thanksgiving dinner, where she decked out all the women with her collection of antique aprons. Barb loved bingo, euchre and she never passed up a Wheel of Fortune slot machine. Barb was proud of her Polish heritage and of being the granddaughter of Toledo policeman George Zientara, who was killed in the line of duty in the 1920s.

In addition to her parents, Barb was predeceased by her stepparents, Robert J. and Charlotte A. Donovan (Nachazel); son, Sean Donovan and sister-in-law, Patricia Donovan (Misavage).

Left to cherish her memory are her loving husband, Michael; daughters, Kimberly (Shaun) Conklin and Kelly (Michael) Barton; grandchildren, Bailey, Benjamin, Madelynne, Emily, Claire, Bree and Sean; sisters Shelly (Tim) Cassidy, Antoinette (Darrell) Mock, Ann (Brett) Benson; brother-in-law, Robert Donovan Jr., and sisters-in-law, Margaret (Mike) Wilhelm and Patricia (Daren) Dabrowski and over a dozen cherished nieces and nephews.

Knowing that Barb was to love her and was blessed with many great friends throughout her life, she will be particularly missed by Darlene Calgie, Debbie Krause, Pam Spiegel and the very special girls at the Euchre club.

The family will receive guests Friday, February 18, 2022 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Newcomer Cremations, Funerals & Receptions – SW Chapel, 4752 Heatherdowns Blvd. (419-381-1900). Funeral Mass will begin Saturday at 10:00 a.m. at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church, 1842 Airport Highway, Toledo, OH 43609.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Barbara’s memory.

To leave a special message for Barbara’s family, please visit:

Published by The Blade on February 17, 2022.

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