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Joseph F. O'Donnell


1940 - 2020
Joseph F. O'Donnell Obituary

Joseph F. O'Donnell, 80, entered into rest on Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020, at his home.

He was husband of Lucille Balmer for 56 years. They proudly raised seven children in Dallas, where the family was active in Gate of Heaven Church community.

Joe was born March 8, 1940, in Wilkes-Barre. He graduated from Elmer L. Myers High School, King's College and the University of Scranton. In 1957, he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard where he served through 1963.

Preceding Joe in death were his sister, Rosemary Vergis; brother, Gerald O'Donnell; and parents, John and Loretta O'Donnell.

Joe is survived by his wife, Lucille; children, Amelia Cuba and her husband, Michael; Joseph O'Donnell and his wife, Paula; Colleen Miller and her husband, Mark; Robert O'Donnell and his wife, Lori; John O'Donnell; James O'Donnell and his wife, Gia; Thomas O'Donnell and his wife, Amy; 15 grandchildren, Jonathan, Emma, Ethan, Matthew, Lucy, Kai, Zachary, Kira, Sydney, Brady, Nicholas, Ryan, Paden, Smith and Ansley; and many nieces and nephews from the Vergis and Balmer families.

Joe's journey created many positive relationships, which he was proud of, through his roles as a social studies teacher, guidance counselor, basketball coach, school administrator and business owner. He served on the Dallas Area School Board, was a founding member of the Dallas Basketball Organization, and was an active member of the Wilkes-Barre YMCA, Back Mountain Wrestling Club and Dallas American Legion Post 672. Over the years, Joe loved to hunt, fish, compete in road races and triathlons, spend time outdoors with his dogs and serve as dance partner to his wife, Lucille.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in St. Joseph Church, 2935 Kingston Road, York, with the Rev. Aby Sebastian, OFM Cap, as celebrant.

Burial will be at noon Saturday in St. Mary's Cemetery, Wilkes-Barre. Full military honors will be presented following the mass at the church and at the interment site. Attendees will be required to wear masks and distance at least six-feet from non-family.

John W. Keffer Funeral Homes and Crematory Inc., East York, is assisting with the arrangements.

Condolences and signing of the guestbook may be entered at Legacy.com.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Wilkes-Barre YMCA via wbymca.org.


Published in Citizens' Voice on Aug. 11, 2020
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