January 27, 1953 – August 7, 2018
James Owen O’Donnell (AKA Jimmy O); son, friend, mentor, husband, father, grandfather, uncle passed away after the bravest battle with lung disease at age 65 on Tuesday August 7th, 2018. His son and namesake James Edward O’Donnell (AKA, OD) paid tribute to him best stating, “I have been lucky enough to spend most days with my father the last 15 years working together at the business he built over 20 years ago. Most of those days he cracked me up, dizzied me with his work ethic, but most of all, awed me with his kind heart, almost daily. Yeah, he talked tough, but his heart was one of the softest out there. He was a man of integrity in an industry with reputation challenges. I have always been proud to call him “dad”. I have never seen him take advantage of anybody or treat anyone with anything other than respect. He was very successful despite not being a great businessman, his heart always came before profit and it was as amazing to watch as it was contagious. We as children grew up very appreciative of what our parents gave and sacrificed for us. However, I could never truly appreciate how much our father had endured being there for us until I had to do it on my own. He worked too hard but always made it a point to be there for us. He always stood by us through our mistakes and stupidity, never bailed us out, but stood by us. He had no problem putting us before himself. He is a large part of what we have become today, and I can only hope to be looked upon as what he has meant to me when my children talk about me at my age.”
Our family would like to share our deepest appreciation to the staff members of the Weusthoff ICU team in Melbourne, Florida and the incredible lung transplant team at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida who fought with our dad so aggressively to save his life over the last several weeks. Through it all, they fell in love with this man and also grieve for him today. We will never forget you.
James is survived by his wife Rose, his mother, Muriel, his 4 children, James, Jamie, David, & Donald, 7 grandchildren (Logan, Caleb, Mollie Rose, Aisling, Dawson, Scarlett Rose, & Lillian), and extended family and friends across the country. In lieu of flowers, our family asks that you donate your time and money in his name to your local patient advocacy groups. One of his last conversations focused on his desire to become a patient advocate based on his positive experience with the treatment he received at Mayo and we can think of no better way to honor his memory than seeing our family and friends fulfil this in his stead. Forever in our hearts Dad, we love you! A paddle out and celebration of life will be held in James’ honor beginning at 1100am August 25th, 2018 at Howard E. Futch Memorial Park Paradise Beach in Indialantic, Fl.