Patrick John O’Donnell, loving father and avid fisherman, passed away on July 13, 2017 at the age of 87. Patrick was born in Meenbanad, County Donegal, Ireland and was raised on the small island of Inishfree (Upper) in Donegal. Island life was not easy but Patrick always looked back fondly upon his boyhood days filled with fishing, catching rabbits and getting into mischief with his island pals. After completing his schooling on the island, he set off at the age of 13 to make his way in the world.
Always an optimist with a strong character and work ethic, Patrick was employed in Scotland in a variety of jobs, some quite physically taxing, based upon his belief that any honest job was a good job. He emigrated to the U.S. in 1954and quickly found work. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and spent two years in the service before being honorably discharged. In Bayonne, NJ in 1957he met his future wife, Maureen McGinley, who hailed from Dungloe, County Donegal. After a short engagement, they were married and started their family, living for a number of years in Elizabeth, NJ. Thereafter they moved their family to Branchburg.
After retiring, Patrick spent many years volunteering for the American Red Cross in Somerville and the Cancer Support Community in Bedminster, making numerous friends. Patrick loved to help others but never wanted the spotlight on his deeds. Given his love of deep-sea fishing, he fished off the Jersey shore as often as he could, typically with the “Wednesday Gang” on the Queen Mary party boat.
Preceding him in death were his parents Charles and Mary O’Donnell; sister May O’Donnell; brothers Gerald and Anthony O’Donnell, and his wife, Maureen. Patrick is survived by his older sister Nora Eagleson, his children, and their partners, respectively: Deirdre O’Donnell and Ken Caivano, Karen and Kenny Jones; Patricia O’Donnell and Mark Mason; Patrick Jr., Anthony; Mary and Jim Gentile. Also surviving Patrick are beloved grandchildren Maria Gogliormella and husband Joey; Kim Rios and Matt Suckiel; Alex Bertoni and Erin Bertoni; Ireland Gentile; great-grandchildren Meadow, Summer and Joey Jr Gogliormella as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Also left to mourn are sister-in-law Rosaleen Clark and husband Paddy, brother-in-law Charley McGinley and wife Dolores; and sister-in-law MaryTeresa Smythe.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 am on Monday, July 17, at Immaculate ConceptionChurch, Somerville. All friends are welcome.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Patrick may be made to the American Red Cross, Cancer Support Community or charity of your choice.