Just over four years after being diagnosed with what is known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, Dennis "OD" O'Donnell passed away Feb. 16 due to respiratory failure from the disease. He was 65.
Known as the man who always had a smile and a joke for everyone he knew, O'Donnell was much loved by many in the fitness and sporting goods industry. He had been a sales rep for nearly 16 years, including for companies such as Valeo, Harbinger and Fitness Quest. The last decade he worked as an independent rep.
He passed away peacefully at home. His wife of 40 years, Barbara O’Donnell, wrote in an email to friends and colleagues, "I want to thank all of you for your love and support over the years."
She also announced that a "Celebration of Life" for OD would be held March 15, 1-5 p.m. at Napa Valley Expo's Chardonnay Hall, in Napa, Calif. Per the announcement, beach party attire is requested and children are welcome since it is a family party.
To read more about OD (which is actually short for the first two letters in his last name, "O'D"), click here to see a tribute SNEWS® published that was a gathering of thoughts and stories about OD and his antics and friendship over the years.
An obituary read: "His strongest attribute was to cultivate friendships and increase his ever-widening circle of friends. He acquired and kept these friendships through all stages of his life. OD said that everyone he met 'became his new best friend.'…" It went on to note that the facts of his life, education and career "don’t give the feeling of the man. He was so much more. They don’t convey the warmth and thoughtfulness of him -- the just plain fun and humor, the jokes he played, the magic tricks he pulled, the daffy ducks he loved, the pantomimes he performed, the theater he enjoyed, and the great parties he gave."
OD is survived by his wife of 40 years, Barbara; son, K.C. O’Donnell; sister, Janice Talbott and brother-in-law, Jim Talbott; and nephews, Mike, Greg and Scott Talbott. es. He was pre-deceased by his parents Charles and Gail O’Donnell and his daughter Kristi O’Donnell Hill.
Donations in OD’s memory may be made to: Hospice of Napa Valley, 411 S. Jefferson St., Napa, Calif. 94559.
For more information about the celebration on March 15, contact Barbara at firstname.lastname@example.org.