Robert S. O'Donnell, 86
Worcester - Robert Stanton O'Donnell passed away on Sunday afternoon, March 20, 2016, with family by his side. He was 86 years old.
He was the husband of Joan E. (Chosta) O'Donnell, who died in 1979, after only 28 years of marriage and devoted friendship. Their beloved son, James Barry O'Donnell, died of leukemia on the Fourth of July in 1961, at the age of 5. Their lives as parents were forever altered at that time. Prior to his death and during his recent illness our father never failed to include our brother Jimmy in discussing his children.
Bob is survived by four children, Joan E. O'Donnell and her husband Stan Hooley of Park City, Utah, William B. O'Donnell, his wife Patricia of Dennis Port, and their children Geoffrey and Kelsey, Sharon Griffin, her husband Wayne of Worcester, and their children Jonathan, Drew, and Abigail, Diane Bombard, her husband Michael of Holden, and their children, James, and Garrett, and his wife Sarah (Hanley), and their son, Vincent Edward. He also leaves a sister in law, Marlene O'Donnell, of Shrewsbury, sister in law, Kathleen Palardis, of Sun City Center, Florida, brother in law Thomas Chosta, of Worcester, and his half-sister Elizabeth Menkhaus, of West Chester Township, Ohio, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews. Robert was predeceased by his brother Val, "Sonny", his brother, David, and his dear sister, Helene "Claire" Sousa.
Bob was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey, son of Valentine J. O'Donnell Jr. and Agnes (Sullivan) O'Donnell and moved to Worcester at a young age. He was proud to be a fifth generation Irish-American. His Irish ancestors came to Massachusetts from Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland in 1852.
He graduated in 1949 from Worcester Boys Trade High School where he was an outstanding basketball player and team Captain. Following high school he started his career as an apprentice tool maker. He eventually rose to become general manager of Progressive Tool and Die, a fifty-man machine shop located in Shrewsbury. Then in 1969, Bob founded Stanton Tool & Mfg. Inc. and in 1981 he acquired VIMM Machine Inc., retiring after selling both businesses in 2001.
He was named to the All-City basketball team by the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and was later inducted into the Worcester Public Schools Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011. He was very active in the starting of the Joe Schwartz Little League and was a coach for many years, including coaching the Dairimaid Ice Cream baseball team to a city wide championship in 1957. The "unbelievable nine", played 26 games during the season and won them all. In a tribute poem to the city champions Bob was mentioned to be, "A man to whom life's greatest joy is helping out some growing boy."
Bob loved his grandchildren dearly, and was always present for sporting events and other activities. He also enjoyed when he was able to visit with Vincent, his first great-grandchild. He loved him dearly and always looked forward to spending time with him. He especially enjoyed and was fascinated about how easily photos and videos of Vincent could be shared through social media due to the distance between them.
It wasn't until retirement that he allowed himself to travel and experience new adventures such as white water rafting, cruising to Alaska, and hiking Arches National Park. He was an avid golfer and longtime member of Pleasant Valley Country Club. Sports always played a major part of his life. He loved getting together with family and friends to share fond memories and laughs, especially with the infamous "lunch bunch" at The Northworks Restaurant.
Calling hours at the Athy Memorial Home, 111 Lancaster St., Worcester will be Monday, March 28 from 4 p.m to 7 p.m. The funeral will be held Tuesday, March 29, from the funeral home with a Mass at 11 a.m. in Blessed Sacrament Church, 555 Pleasant St, Worcester. Burial will be in St. John's Cemetery, Worcester.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38103.