Ann Elisabeth Donovan

Former Scarsdale resident Ann Elisabeth Donovan, 49, of Seattle, Washington, died Aug. 26.

Ms. Donovan was born in Tarrytown to Loretta (Jablonski) and John Donovan on July 10, 1970, and grew up in Scarsdale where she attended Edgewood School and graduated from Scarsdale High School.

At the high school, she contributed her artistic talents to the Drama Club and as art editor of Bandersnatch, the school yearbook.

As a founder of The Common Ground, she earned the Gold Award from the Girl Scouts of Westchester/Putnam for her leadership of the cafe that provided a positive social environment for teens throughout Central Westchester. She earned a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in visual and performing arts, at Syracuse University in 1992 where she was a member of the University Senate.

Ms. Donovan relocated to Seattle and built a career in web design, marketing and business development. Together with her husband, Randy Pape, she grew Paperless Business Systems into an award-winning software and services company. When the 1998 World Trade Organization conference erupted in violence, Ms. Donovan joined her neighbors in strengthening civic engagement.

Serving as president of Seattle’s Capitol Hill Community Council from 1999 to 2005, Ms. Donovan was instrumental in influencing Walgreens to replace its plans for a single story retail site Broadway at Pine in the Seattle neighborhood with mixed-use affordable housing. In October 2018 she was recognized for that accomplishment in a dedication of the building’s lobby. 

Ms. Donovan’s interest in modern dance, nurtured at the Steffi Nossen School of Dance in Scarsdale and enhanced at Syracuse University, attracted her to Seattle’s Velocity Dance Center where she served on the board from 2004 to 2007. In recent years, she devoted her talents to painting and drawing.

Ms. Donovan was known to forge connections with others even as she faced her own health issues, working alongside women in online communities with the goal of ensuring that their health experiences were not overlooked. She was at the forefront of the legislative response to terminal illness as she was confronting metastatic HER2 breast cancer. Traveling to Olympia, Washington, to testify, she successfully advocated for passage of the Right to Try Law, allowing terminally ill patients access to experimental therapies, which Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed in 2017.

In addition to her parents of Brookfield, Connecticut, Ms. Donovan is survived by her husband, Randy Pape, and sons, Jonah and Oliver; brother, John (Loredana) of Katonah; sister, Courtney (Ian Duncan) and niece, Oona, of Oakland, California; as well as many other relatives and friends.

Contributions in Ms. Donovan’s name may be made to Metavivor at metavivor.org.

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