Kenneth Earl O’Donnell, 85, of Ormond Beach, FL. passed away peacefully at home and journeyed on to Heaven with Jesus on March 13, 2020. He was born September 20, 1934 in Milwaukee, WI to Earl and Irma (Hensel) O’Donnell. He also spent time growing up in Beloit, Oshkosh, Sauk Prairie and Madison, WI. He graduated from West High School in Madison in 1954. On April 16, 1955, he married Patricia A. Rinden. They began their life together and raised their family in the Madison/Monona area.
Ken worked as a Maintenance Supervisor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as Nehi until they moved to Fort Myers, FL in 1979. In Fort Myers, Ken worked at Estero Elementary School and then Heights Elementary School as the Building Maintenance Supervisor. He treasured his time interacting and joking with the kids. He was even granted a trip to Washington D.C. to help receive an award on behalf of the school for outstanding building maintenance. He had a high work ethic and fun ethic at the same time. After retiring from the school, Ken was a greeter at Wal-Mart where he could continue to enjoy interacting with people for the next 17 years.
Ken really enjoyed having fun with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and was always ready to use his “fun” money. From the stories he told, he was fun and mischievous as a child and he continued to brighten the lives of everyone around him for the rest of his life. He was very kind and compassionate. Ken enjoyed traveling with his family. Some of the highlights were hang gliding over Reagan’s Ranch, having a private tour of the U.S.S. Constitution, the thrill of riding on a jet ski, and many cruises. He also loved all the different dogs he had throughout his life. He had fun playing mini golf and shuffleboard (loser picks up) and driving the golf cart. Ken enjoyed cookies, ice cream and drinking his daily chocolate milk and especially going to Perkins, his favorite restaurant!
Ken is survived by Patricia, his wife of almost 65 years, his daughters Pam (Gary) O’Donnell of Ormond Beach, FL., Penny Bateman of Dresbach, MN; his seven grandchildren: Matthew, Khara, and Joshua Schmelzer, Ben and Emily O’Donnell, Nicole (Chad) Kendall, and Peter (Danielle) Bateman; five great-grandchildren: Ellie, Bailey, and Brooklyn Kendall, Tristan and Kaeleigh Schmelzer.
Kenny is preceded in death by his parents: Earl O’Donnell, Milton and Irma Schwerin, his sister Patricia (Reiny) Zempel, his beloved son Daniel O’Donnell and his son-in-law Bert Bateman.
The Memorial Service is being planned for this summer in the Madison, WI area with burial at Sunset Memory Gardens.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;” Jeremiah 31:3