John O’Donnell (March 03, 1931 - September 20, 2023)

In loving memory of
John O’Donnell
  • March 03, 1931
  • -
  • September 20, 2023

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John O’Donnell passed away on September 20, 2023 at the age of 92. John was born in Brooklyn, NY to Nora and James O’Donnell who immigrated from County Cork, Ireland. He was predeceased by his parents, brother (James), sisters (Gloria and Eleanor), and his first wife, Margaret (Peggy).

John grew up during the Great Depression and began working at the age of six, delivering bagels to his neighbors in Brooklyn. He went on the work at a deli where he learned to make mayonnaise from scratch. He also worked at a grocery store and a drug store. He later installed antennas when television was first introduced. John did well in school and was fortunate to have an opportunity to attend Brooklyn Tech High School.

John joined the Air Force in 1950. His goal was to become a pilot, but his color-blindness prevented that. He did, however, co-own a 1937 Taylor craft which he enjoyed flying and doing stunts with while stationed at Tyndell Air Force Base. He was stationed in Okinawa during the Korean War and lived through a major typhoon which heavily damaged the AF Base.

He attended Pratt Institute where he majored in Industrial Engineering. He used those skills in his job at the Brooklyn Shipyard from 1954-1966, where he worked as a supervisor. There he participated in the building of three super carriers, the Saratoga, Constellation and Independence. He loved sea trials and later admitted to being happy when vacation cruises hit bad weather and bounced around like the carriers in the Atlantic.

John subsequently went on to work for DCMA at Garden City and Fairchild Republic in Quality Control and Subcontract Management when the A10 Warthog and T46 were in production. He retired from DCMA, AIL and went to work for Unisys in Great Neck as a Manager in Subcontracts until he retired and moved to Orlando in 1994.

John’s current wife, Darlene, took a position with DCMA at Rolls Royce, Bristol, England in 2003 which gave John an opportunity to live amongst the Brits and see numerous countries in Europe. He got to play a lot of golf while there.

In 2015 John moved to the Villages. He loved the beauty of the area and the closeness of the community.

John is survived by his wife of 34 years, Darlene, three sons, Michael, Shaugn (Heather) and Timothy (Shari), six grandchildren, Michael, Megan, Jaden, Logan, Anabel and Cadee, and his beloved dogs Bella and Alfie, in addition to many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, it is requested that donations be made to Tunnels to Towers.

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  1. Gregory Levan lit a candle:
    04 Oct 2023
    Lit since October 4, 2023 at 10:07:19 PM

  2. Darlene O'Donnell lit a candle:
    04 Oct 2023
    Lit since October 4, 2023 at 10:23:43 PM

  3. Dominick DeAngelis lit a candle:
    29 Sep 2023
    Lit since September 29, 2023 at 9:22:41 AM

  4. Gary & Anna Fuller says:
    27 Sep 2023
    Our deepest condolences. We were saddened to hear of John's passing. We wish John's entire family peace and comfort during this difficult time.
    We will always remember John and all the good times we shared on our walking adventures with the Mid-Florida Walking Club.
    John was an amazing person and lived a remarkable life. We were lucky to know him.
    We celebrate John's life and mourn his passing.
    Keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.

  5. Gary & Anna Fuller lit a candle:
    27 Sep 2023
    Lit since September 27, 2023 at 9:16:36 AM

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