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November 7, 1927 ~ February 18, 2023 (age 95) 95 Years Old
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Beatrice Donovan, age 95, passed away at her home in Evanston, Ill., on Saturday, February 18, 2023
Born Beatrice Miller in 1927, she was one of five children of Israel and Dora Miller, in Brooklyn, New York. After graduating from Brooklyn College in 1948 she moved to Chicago in the late 1940s. There she attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology. She married her first husband, Arthur Paul, in 1949 and had two sons, William and Fredric.
Bea and Arthur divorced in the early 1970s, and in 1974 she married her soulmate Neil B. (Jack) Donovan Jr., who predeceased her in 2015.
Bea and Jack and their respective children lived in Evanston, before moving to Annapolis, Md. in the 1980s and Washington, D.C., in the 1990s. They returned to live at 1020 Grove in Evanston in 2009. After Jack's passing, Bea moved to The Highlands and Westminster Place in Evanston.
Blessed with fierce intelligence, a discerning eye, steady hands, and the determination to maximize the aesthetic virtues of everything she touched, Bea enjoyed a fascinating and diverse creative career, including freelance design work and positions at Esquire magazine and the magazine of the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Notably, she created collages for multiple early covers of Playboy magazine in the 1950s and ‘60s.
In the 1970s she started ColorComp, her own business utilizing new technology to create custom color prints for ad agencies and publications in downtown Chicago. Later on, Bea and Jack bought and ran Berry Laminated, a custom-cabinet business in Maryland.
Bea was an avid reader of the most challenging material she could find, loved to engage in intense intellectual discussions, and enjoyed fine art as well as classical and jazz music.
Bea is survived by her two sons, six stepchildren from her marriage with Jack (Jessica, Neil, Paula, Bardsley, Matt, and Hilary), and numerous grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. She was especially close to her niece Julie Miller, who selflessly provided warm and supportive care over her last years.
We will all miss her wit, humor, intelligence, insights, and good taste. May she rest in peace.
A Celebration of her Life is being planned for the spring of 2023.