Born on Aug. 17, 1936 in Worcester, he was a son of the late Valentine and Agnes (Sullivan) O’Donnell and graduated from St. Peter's High School in 1954 as class valedictorian. He earned Bachelor and Master degrees from Fitchburg State College. He honorably served in the United States Marines, and was happily married to Marlene A. Palulis for 53 years.
His career in education began in the Sudbury School System as a special education teacher. He later became Administrator of the Special Education Department for the Town of West Boylston for over 23 years, retiring in 1997.
David touched the lives of so many thankful students, families, and colleagues. For his excellence, he was awarded the William Condon Award, a federation for children with special needs. After retirement, he loved his work as courier for MD Dental in Northborough.
A great husband, father, neighbor, and friend – a great man was David O’Donnell. “When Irish eyes are smiling” and his always were. He loved all things Irish and had a contagious sense of humor, quick wit and a kindness that earned him respect from all who knew him. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus and Saint Anne's Church.
In death he joins God, his parents, and his siblings, Valentine O’Donnell and Claire Sousa.
His legacy and love live on in the hearts of his wife, Marlene; his children, Mark D. O’Donnell and his wife Nancy, Maureen A. McCarthy and her husband William, Megan A. Muratore and her husband Marc, all of Shrewsbury, and Matthew D. O’Donnell and his wife Mandee, of Dighton; his grandchildren, Katherine, Eric, Morgan, Abby, Lindsey, Rachel, Lauren, and Rhys; his brother, Robert O’Donnell of Worcester; and many nieces and nephews.
Family and friends will honor and remember David's life by gathering for calling hours Friday, Nov. 15, from 4 – 8 p.m., at Heald & Chiampa Funeral Directors ~ The Sumner House, 5 Church Rd., On the Common, Shrewsbury Center, and again at 8:45 a.m. Saturday morning before leaving in procession to Saint Anne's Church, 130 Boston Tpke., Shrewsbury, where his funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Burial with military honors will follow in Mountain View Cemetery.
Honor David's memory with a contribution to St. Jude's Research Hospital, Massachusetts Chapter, 313 Washington St. #310, Newton, MA 02458.