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A Wetzel and Son Obituary for:
Brian Hugh Dovey
November 12, 1941 - August 27, 2023

Public Events and Locations

Celebration Of Life - Tuesday, September 5, 2023, 12:00 PM at Sunnybrook Golf Club, Plymouth Meeting


Funeral Home - Wetzel and Son Funeral Home - 501 Easton Road, Willow Grove, PA 19090 - 215-659-0911 - Map
Place - Sunnybrook Golf Club - 398 Stenton Avenue, Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462 - 610-828-9617 - Map
Family Florist - Valleygreen Flowers and Gifts - 1013 North Bethlehem Pike, Lower Gwynedd, PA 19002 - 215-628-3550 - Map
Donation - Germantown Academy - The Dovey Family Endowment for Faculty Enrichment. Please note “Dovey” on check. - 340 Morris Road, Fort Washington, PA 19034 - 215-646-3300 - Map
Donation - Colgate University Gift Records - Brian Dovey Memorial fund - PO Box 313, Canajoharie, NY 13317 - 800-668-4428 - Map
Donation - Wistar Institute of Anatomy & Biology, Development Office - 3601 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 - 215-898-3700 - Map

Brian Hugh Dovey, of Gwynedd Valley, PA and La Jolla, CA passed away on Sunday, August 27, 2023. After a brief illness, he died surrounded by family with his beloved wife Betty—as always—by his side.

Brian was born on November 12, 1941 in Cleveland, OH, to Hugh Albert and Dorothy Garde Dovey. He is the devoted husband of Elizabeth (Betty) Hartzell, father of Laurel (Ted) Stack, Kim (Pat) Culligan, and Christy (John) Galloway, and the proud and cherished grandfather of Scott and Jennifer Stack, Kelli (John) Stack Mallon, Brian, Clare, and Molly Culligan, and Jack and Elizabeth Galloway.

To know Brian was to love and admire him. While his life was one of accomplishment and impact—from family to business to philanthropy—he was a man of humility, generosity, authenticity, and interest in others. Brian was intellectually curious and the master of topics ranging from bioscience to corporate strategy to public policy. But he was equally at home setting up model train displays, obsessing over the perfect pair of running shoes, and working to perfect his wood-burning fireplace technique. While Brian was driven to achieve whether in the board room or on the tennis court, he displayed no ego and never took himself too seriously. Brian leaves behind friends and admirers around the world.

From the start, Brian was a remarkable athlete and student. He was proud of his multi-sport achievements at Glen Rock High School and was honored to have been inducted into the school’s athletic Hall of Fame in 2016. He went on to earn his BA in Mathematics from Colgate University and later obtained an MBA from Harvard Business School (Class of 1967).

Since 1998, Brian has been a partner at the venture capital firm Domain Associates, where he has led investments in more than two hundred innovative pharmaceutical and life sciences companies and served on the board of directors of more than 35 private and public companies, and as the chair of six. A former Chairman of the National Venture Capital Association, Brian loved co-teaching a long-running course at San Diego State University on “Managing the Growing Firm.”

Prior to Domain, Brian was president of Rorer Group, now part of Sanofi. Earlier in his career, he was the president of Survival Technology, a startup that developed the Epipen. Brian was the former chairman and board member of both the Center for Venture Education (Kauffman Fellows Program) and the Wistar Institute. He also served as a board member of the Scripps Research Institute, the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, the Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute, and the La Jolla Playhouse. He is a trustee emeritus of Germantown Academy.

Perpetually in motion, Brian was fully engaged to the last in all aspects of life. In addition to his continued board work, Brian was preparing for the forthcoming publication of his book “The Idea is the Easy Part”. The book provides Brian’s thoughts on success in business and entrepreneurship (and life in general), captured with his trademark humor, humility, and insight. Brian also continued to stay active, most recently developing his pickleball game, all-the-while plotting a return to the tennis courts (targeting the 80+ national circuit).

Through it all, Brian loved Betty and Betty loved Brian. They have been inseparable back to Glen Rock High, creating together a life of love, family, laughter, friendship, and adventure. They recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. Brian and Betty have accumulated life-long friends across stops in Hackensack, NJ, Cambridge, MA, Hastings-on-Hudson, NY, Cheshire, CT, Rockville, MD, and most recently La Jolla, CA where they have enjoyed many a sunset together. They have traveled the globe, but their hearts have always been at home in Gwynedd Valley, PA where they have lived since 1983.

Brian and Betty’s proudest achievement, and enduring legacy, is their family. Their daughters, sons-in-law, and grandchildren draw energy and inspiration from Brian (Grandpa or Hop) like the sun, loving him for his kindness, humor, optimism, generosity, and—most of all—boundless love. Through his example, Brian has taught them all how to love unconditionally, how to create family bonds while embracing individuality and independence, how to embrace adventure and remain endlessly curious, how to drive a stick shift, how to pursue one’s dreams without losing sight of oneself, how to stop to enjoy every sunset, and how to leave nothing unsaid. His family will forever cherish their moments with Brian, and his spirit will live on within them.

In addition to his wife Betty and his children, grandchildren, and many adoring nieces and nephews, Brian is survived by his siblings Jim (Ellen) Dovey, Barbara (Steve) Wiley, Joyce (Jim) Walden, and Michael Dovey.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any memorial contributions be directed in Brian’s honor to one of the following organizations that were important to him:

Germantown Academy, 340 Morris Road, Fort Washington, PA 19034. Please note “Dovey” in the Comments. Gifts will be directed to The Dovey Family Endowment for Faculty Enrichment. Donate online at

Brian Dovey Memorial Fund at Colgate University at Colgate University Gift Records, P.O. Box 313, Canajoharie NY 13317 or online at

The Wistar Institute of Anatomy & Biology, Development Office, 3601 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 or online at

Friends and colleagues of Brian and his loved ones were invited to join the family for a celebration of his life at noon on Tuesday, September 5th, 2023 at Sunnybrook Golf Club, 398 Stenton Avenue, Plymouth Meeting, PA. 19462.

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