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“Perhaps they are not the stars, but rather openings in Heaven where the love of our lost ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.” Anonymous

Date of Birth August 31, 1942

Obituary Image

Date of Passing February 11, 2020

James O'Donnell

from Marcellus, Michigan, United States

James O'Donnell, 77, of Marcellus, Mi passed away peacfully in his sleep after a hard fought battle of cancer. He was born to James and Bernice (Rafter) O'Donnell on August 31, 1942 in Chicago, Ill. He attended Harper High School and served his country in the United States Army for two years, where he was stationed in Germany as a certified welder.

Upon returning home he mastered many skills, that he would take with him everywhere he went. He took pride in being a Union brother for many years while working as an Iron worker and Electrcian, before he left the big city to manage Wildcat Ranch with Driscol Enterprise located in Vandalia, Michigan. Where his love of nature took off, raising buffalo, watusi cattle, elk, horses, sheep, goats, camels, llamas, and deer to name a few for more than 15 years. When on the ranch he would bring his knowledge of animals to the community. In 1987 he would share his love of animals to the International Special Olympics held at The Univerity of Notre Dame, bringing an aray of young animals for the athletes and families to enjoy.

When leaving the ranch in the early 90s Jim would relocate to Florida where he would continue his work as an electrician for a few years before returning back to Michigan in the mid 90s. Jim retired as an electrican of the IBEW Local 134 and the Army Core of Engineers at the Chicago Harbor Locks in 2011.

While enjoying his retirement Jim would be seen enjoying his family and especailly his grandchildren. Walking the grand kids to and from school everyday and cheering on the Marcellus Ladycat sports. He also instilled his love of wood working with his family where he would spend time making wooden trains, Christmas ornaments, bowls, vases, candle holders, jewlery boxes, and Pinewood Derby cars with the kids for the annual Pinewood Derby competion (placing each year). Jim also enjoyed teaching the grandkids gun safety at the shooting range, camping, and fishing in the summer months.

Remaining to cherish Jim's memories are his wife Sharon of 42 years; sister Kathleen (Wayne) Hannusch of Homewood, Ill; brother in law Micheal Palenica Orland Pk, Ill; sons James O'Donnell of Marcellus and Daniel O'Donnell of Battle Creek, daughter Julie O'Donnell of Marcellus; Grandchildren Jenna, Anna, Sean, Kerrianne and Kiera. Nephew Kevin (Angie) Hannusch of Joliet, Ill; Niece Alison Hannusch of Homewood, Ill; great nephews Justin and Aiden;

He was proceded in death by his parents James and Bernice O'Donnell; nephew Todd Hannusch; brother in law Steven Palenica; brother Kerry O'Donnell;

Celebration of life will be announced when family and friends can gather at a later time.


  • admin
    Reply Julie / Feb 12, 2020

    Julie sends their condolences.

  • admin
    Reply Laura Berkley / Feb 12, 2020

    Laura Berkley sends their condolences.

  • From:
    OBITUARe Family

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