It is with deep sorrow that we announce the unexpected passing of our President, JD Donovan. She passed on Thursday evening May 21, 2020 at home peacefully surrounded by loved ones. Her death was unrelated to the current health emergency. Having fought a battle with a serious illness, it finally took her from us.
When Sonoma County Pride (SCP) reorganized in 2014, she was a charter member along with Vice-President Brian Rogers, Directors Emeritus Vickie Nicholson, and Robbie Ernst. JD served as our President from then until her passing on Thursday. She was passionately committed to the mission of Sonoma County Pride. Extremely proud of the growth and development of SCP, she knew it the hard work of the entire board, the committee chairs, and her beloved volunteers that allowed SCP to be where we are today. Most importantly, they all knew that without the support of our community, none of this would have been possible.
Vice-president, Brian Rogers will assume the role of acting President. In November 2019, Brian announced plans to retire from the board of directors to pursue the development of the Sonoma County Pride Diversity Foundation. Their initial mission will be to support the development of an LGBTQI+ Center for Sonoma County.
The Board of Directors will be holding an election to replace both officers in early June. This will allow for ample transition time prior to Brian’s departure. Sonoma County Pride has grown into a strong and resilient organization managed by a bright and talented team of volunteers. We look forward to the reopening of our county so we can continue our work. We look forward to the great things the future holds for our community and our organization.
JD is survived by her wife, Mel Donovan-Thompson who has requested privacy at this time. At JD’s instruction, no service will take place while social distancing policies are in effect. In several weeks, Ms. Donovan-Thompson will announce the date and time of a virtual celebration of life for JD, which will probably take place in July.
The entire Sonoma County Pride family will miss JD’s calm, compassionate leadership as well as her quick laugh and warm heart. She will stay in our thoughts. As we take the organization forward to meet the future, her spirit will always be with us.