Donovan P. Rodriguez Aviation Scholarship
Ms. Patricia Delonnay established this scholarship in memory of her husband Donovan, an aviation instructor for more than 20 years. He disappeared in July 1999 in a flight over northern Lake Michigan. Fellow NMC aviation instructor Bob Buttleman described Mr. Rodriguez, who learned to fly on his own in a Piper J3 Cub, as an “aviation nut.” A native of Honor, Mr. Rodriguez worked as an aviation instructor, commercial pilot and a fixed-base operator. He also loved aviation history and photographed airplanes. On his final flight, Mr. Rodriguez was one of two occupants of a Czechoslovakian-built Russian jet fighter, which was in Traverse City for the National Cherry Festival air show. The pilot took Mr. Rodriguez up as a thank-you for hosting the planes at the NMC hangar. The plane never returned and has never been recovered. It is believed to have gone down around Fox Island in northern Lake Michigan.