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John O'Donnell


1932 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
John O'Donnell Obituary
October 20, 1932 - July 18, 2016 John David O'Donnell was born in Lorain, Ohio. When he was 12 his mother sold everything they had and bought a 10 year old Cadillac to drive to California. If they were going to be poor at least they were going to be warm. After failing out of San Fernando High he enrolled in the Air Force to get some discipline. He served in Korea for four years which included getting his High School diploma. John enrolled at LA Valley Junior College all the while selling for Sears Roebuck, selling Jewel Tea door to door, and selling anything else one might purchase in order to fine tune his salesmanship skills and put a dollar in his pocket. After two years he entered USC to be introduced to his yet to be discovered social skills, get his degree in Telecommunication, join Beta Theta Pi and meet his wife to be, Trish Dwyer. He graduated in 1959. They married July 2, 1960. Upon graduation, John joined Coldwell Banker with the help of his fraternity ties. They had never seen the likes of him. Six years later he was their top salesman. By 1969 he was ready for a new challenge and accepted management of Rancho California now called Temecula. The area was massive and too much for John and Coldwell Banker. It was time to move on to becoming a developer. He began his new challenge in Southern California where he developed empty warehouses. Not wanting to compete with himself, he continued to build northward. Ending up in Alaska, he developed in Anchorage just before the pipeline was signed. Hola and the rest is history. John was a giant among giants. He cherished his faith, his family and his friends above all else. We all will forever treasure the good times we shared and the large imprint he left with each of us. He was incredibly generous to anyone in need. His faith, his moral code, the love he had for life and his wonderful personality will remind everyone what is truly right in this world. God blessed him in so many ways for which he was eternally grateful. Trish and John were married 56 years. He desperately loved his wife Trish, three wonderful children, Leslie, David and Douglas, two daughters-in-law Dana Jenkins O'Donnell and Angela Tesselaar O'Donnell, four grandsons, Oliver, Peter, JD and Christian, his sister, Helen Gerth and an amazing number of friends who have supported them through their lifetime. Thanks to all the medical staff at Hoag Hospital and at Eisenhower for their loving care but most especially to Dr. John Storch and Dr. Joel Hirschberg for whom we will be eternally grateful. A funeral Mass will be offered at Our Lady Queen of Angels Church in Newport Beach this Saturday, July 23rd at 12:00 with reception to follow at The Pacific Club. In lieu of flowers, John would prefer that donations be sent to his favorite charities: Hoag Hospital Foundation, Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Church or The Vintage Club Employee Scholarship Fund.
Published in the Los Angeles Times from July 20 to July 23, 2016
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