Donaven was born February 14, 1940 in New Ulm to Rudolph and Olga (Randen) Bode. He grew up on the family farm in Courtland, attending Immanuel Lutheran School and was active in 4-H. In 1951 he contracted polio, which affected his legs and spent the next year at the Sister Kenny Rehabilitation Institute in Minneapolis. Donaven attended the School of Agriculture in Waseca, graduating with the class of 1959. He worked as a livestock and gravel hauler for RW Zimmerman in Courtland and other various trucking jobs. He moved to Eagle Bend and lived with Bob and Erma Thorson and worked for Alan Asfeld and Paul Asfeld as a farm hand. Donaven was a conscientious worker and enjoyed the families he worked for. On August 25, 1989 he married the love of his life, Sharon Runge.
The polio took its toll on Donaven as he grew older and his legs grew weaker. He moved to Valley View Assisted Living in Long Prairie and then to the Central Todd County Care Center in Clarissa.
Donaven is survived by his wife, Sharon, daughters, Amber Bode, Danielle (John) Nissen, Ashley Bode, step-children, Karen, Kim , Jenny, grandchildren, Michael, Aiden, Kyle, Parker, Kaylee, Kendra, Harley, Jessica, Rebecca, Chris, brothers Dale, Stanley, Howard and many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Rudolph and Olga and infant sister, Rhoda Ann.