On Monday, July 30, 2018, Michael O’Donnell, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend, passed away at home at the age of 75 years.
He was born in Jersey City, NJ on September 16, 1942. He was raised in Keyport, NJ. He attended St. Joseph Elementary School and Keyport High School. He proudly served his country in the United States Navy from September, 1960 to August, 1963. Upon returning to NJ, Mike worked for the American Can Company, then John Hancock Insurance.
Mike moved to Baltimore. During this time, he sold insurance for Peoples Insurance Company and then managed the Dead End Saloon. He resided in Texas (Houston and Galveston) for the past 38 years. He worked as a lab technician in the quality control department of Anheuser Busch for many years. He had an entrepreneurial streak and started his own emu farm. After retirement he managed the pool for the Sea Isle Community in Galveston for several years.
Mike was very handy and always had a project going. He was proud of his Irish heritage, known to many as ‘Irish Mike’. His favorite holiday was St. Patrick’s Day and he frequently reported being the only six-foot leprechaun. Mike loved sailing, being on the water, and had his Captain’s license. He was a world traveler and has been to 5 continents. Mike loved people. He was happiest with people at his house, telling his tales, and having a cocktail and a laugh at the Hammered Pelican. Everyone knew the bar was open when he lit up his Budweiser sign. He enjoyed sharing what he knew and helping where he could. He loved his TV loud; watching Blue Bloods, old westerns, and Sunday morning political shows which fed into his many conspiracy theories. He can best be remembered by his quote “doing what you have to do, when it has to be done, whether you like it or not” and his theme song, “I Did it My Way.”
Mike will be forever remembered by his daughter and son-in-law Colleen and John Fritsch, and his grandchildren, J.J. (John Joe), Lily, and Gloria Fritsch, by his sisters Maggie Hart, Joan (Pete) Rowley, and Maureen (Jack) Moser. Mike will also be forever remembered by his nieces and nephews Terry, Jerry (Sheila), Kevin (Deirdre), Kathy, Lynn (Jim), Larry (Mary Frances), Peter (Monica), Trish, Patrick (Becky), John (Zoe), and Kim, and many other family members and dear friends, especially his ‘habibi’ of 21 years, Amal.
Mike was predeceased by his daughters, Barbara Ann and Kerry O’Donnell, his parents, Eugene and Bridget O’Donnell, his sister and brother-in-law, Eileen and Jerry Coker, his brother-in-law, Larry Hart, and his nephew, Paul.
Mike’s family will receive visitors beginning at 2:00 pm, Friday, August 10, at Malloy & Son Funeral Home, 3028 Broadway, Galveston, TX. A funeral service will begin at 3:45 pm.
A visitation and memorial service will be held on Sunday, August 26, from 11:00-2:00 at Day Funeral Home, 361 Maple Place, Keyport, NJ.
Memorial donations in memory of Mike can be made to the Sea Isle Planters Bunch at 6493 Sea Isle, Galveston, Texas 77554.