Obituaries & Tributes
Donovan Ross Gregg
date of birth December 19 1987
date of death July 23 2019
Donovan was born in Portland and was raised as an only child by his mother Debbie. He attended preschool and kindergarten on the Nike cam- pus where Debbie worked for 27 years. He attended Beaverton public schools, graduating from Beaverton High School in 2006.
He developed a love of travel early on by taking long road trips with his mother and grandmother Esther, which included excursions to Banff, Lake Louise, the Grand Canyon, and Bryce and Zion National Parks. This developed into a love of international travel when he went on a European cruise with them after graduating high school. It was also on this trip that Donovan, a hitherto picky eater, discovered a taste for exotic foods—starting with escargot. As he put it, “If snails can taste this good, the possibilities are limitless.” This referred not only to the possibilities with food, but the greater world as well.
Donovan attended Western Oregon University where he initially majored in Criminal Justice with the hopes of becoming an FBI agent. However, an introductory class in criminal justice sparked a change of plans that eventually led him to earn dual degrees in Economics and Ger- man, along with a minor in Political Science.
Donovan met the love of his life, Jessica, through a mutual friend during the summer after he graduated from high school. As Jessie was a year behind him, most weekends were spent back home facilitated by his future mother-in-law, Shirley, who picked him up Fridays and returned him each Monday to Monmouth.
Donovan spent a year perfecting his German while on exchange at the University of Tübingen during his junior year. He returned to Ger- many in the summer of 2010 for a three-week, service-learning project focused on collecting stories of people immigrating to Germany and the US.
Donovan and Jessica were married on September 10, 2011 in the backyard of his new in-laws on the hottest day of the year. With the job opportunities in the US not to their liking, the newlyweds each took English teaching jobs in Busan, South Korea from 2012-2014. While in Korea, they applied for and were accepted into the Peace Corps, which had been a long-time ambition for the pair.
Donovan served 27 months in Ethiopia, providing classroom instruction for five public school English classes of between 50 and 75 students. He led training sessions for Peace Corps trainees and managed budgeting and logistics for youth summer camps, among other projects. He also found himself on two Peace Corps committees, VAC and PAC, despite the fact that Peace Corps rules prohibit people being on more than one committee at a time. Following his Peace Corps service, Donovan and Jessie were accepted to and enrolled in graduate studies at the Willy Brandt School of Public Policy in Erfurt, Germany. Donovan’s master’s thesis topic was workforce transitions during the fourth industrial revolution. His days in Erfurt were spent among dear friends discussing politics, going to barbeques and Ramadan iftars, and regaling others with stories from both his travels and his home. His stories, his laugh, his wit, his ability to find the humor in everyday moments, and his infectious smile were among his defining traits.
After completing their graduate studies, the couple returned to Oregon and pursued job opportunities. With a goal of eventually joining the Foreign Service, Donovan had received an entry level job offer with the State Department with the Office of Bilateral Trade Agreements. This position required security clearance, and he had been told this could take a year or more to obtain, especially for a traveler who had been to over 30 countries in his lifetime and had spent nearly eight years of his life living abroad.
While waiting for the clearance to come through, Donovan and Jessie traveled to Vietnam and received their CELTA certifications for teaching English as a foreign language. They then took a Peace Corps Response assignment in Kigali, Rwanda, training English teachers and developing a new curriculum at IPRC Kigali, a technical and vocational college.
Donovan died following an auto accident while working on an extra project for an NGO where they were working with high school students training them on how to apply for college and scholarships. Donovan was a great many things, including a great man. He was the best husband and partner a lady could ask for, a loving son and grandson, a friend, a mentor, and a teacher. He loved to travel, explore, and try new things. He was an adventurer in all the facets of his life. He loved to laugh and make others laugh, loved to tell stories and hear the stories others had to tell. His time was far and away too short, and he had a lot of living left to do. Still, in the short time he was here, he lived a lot more than many people do. He will be badly missed by all those who knew and loved him.
In addition to his wife Jessica Marie Macaulay Gregg, Donovan is survived by his mother Deborah Jean (Porter) Gregg, father Donnelly David Gregg, grandmother Esther Gregg, parents-in-law Shirley Anne Hauge and Gregory Dale Harris, half-siblings Cameron, Erica, Benjamin, and Jonathan Gregg, step-sister-in-law Chloe Harris and her husband Terry Parker, and aunt Rebecca Tevis, husband Ken and cousin Casey Tevis.
2 tribute candles have been lit
Candle lit by Staff at Autumn Funerals, Cremation & Burial Our sincere condolences.
Candle lit by Linda Sweeney Donovan was a special Soul and one knew this from early on listening to his advanced observations of people and life, many times amusing. Though his years were limited, his vision and accomplishments were not. He was a joy to know and will be deeply missed. My condolences to my dear friend Debbie, an outstanding mother, loving wife Jessie and the family.