Kathleen E. O'Donnell
Kathleen E. O'Donnell
  • September 20, 1929 - December 17, 2016
  • Old Saybrook, Connecticut

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Old Saybrook, CT 06475
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Kathleen E. Hannah O'Donnell aka THE DICKENS, Having a love of the four seasons and music the "Queen of Green" peacefully departed during the first seasonal snowfall on December 17 at 3:17pm in her treasured home while surrounded by family and listening to a song very dear, When Irish Eyes are Smiling.
Her life afforded her many great pleasures. She was born in Gowanda, NY on September 20,1929 and married the late Patrick Francis O'Donnell on December 27,1952 marking a new beginning. While residing in Niagra Falls, NY they welcomed three girls, Mary, Maureen and Patricia. Then the adventure began. The family relocated to New City, NY for five years then moved to Old Saybrook, CT for the last 47 years of Kay's life. As time flew by Kay volunteered at schools, coached softball, chauffeured and chaperoned, hiked the woods for miles, shopped the shops, enjoyed the Monkey Farm and proudly spectated at all the field hockey, basketball, and softball games in which all daughters participated. As a very patriotic lady, she was as proud of the American flag as she was her daughters. The annual summer trip was a favorite and required eight hours of driving from Old Saybrook to Hanford Bay, NY. With the main home on the Lake Erie waterfront cocktails and sunsets were enjoyed with old friends daily. Her adventuresome spirit took her to many parts of the world by planes, trains, automobiles, cruise ships, motorcycles, river rafts, air boats, Winnebago, and her own feet. Some destinations she cherished are among a long list including all of Ireland, the Cotswolds, Key West, Death Valley, Monument Valley, Big Sur, New Orleans and Miami Beach. Always at the end of each excursion she happily returned to her most favorite place, her incredibly decorated home. Then along came two grandchildren, Kimberly and Kathleen from Mary and Kay's favorite son in law Tom Pickert, to which Kay would respond, "my only son in law". That didn't slow things down and soon the gang was off to France, the great west, Graceland and many other places. The grandkids loved the simplicity of Camp Grandma too where they enjoyed arts and crafts, animals, and camping on the family room floor with Grandma. Kay loved all animals, four and two legged alike. Having adopted numerous dogs, cats, snakes, birds, newts, turtles, rabbits, chameleons, turtles, snails and a duck throughout her life it was spoken by many that in their next life they want to be the dog that belongs to Kay O'Donnell. Her neighbor's dog April moved in over five years ago and has been Kays companion and guiding light for which we the family are grateful. Kay had lots of special friends and each would refer to her differently: sharp as a tack, a true gem, a great force, funny as hell, quite a gal, proud patriot, hard rock, Mrs. Mo, party chick, or mom. Kay had to adjust to difficult life changes between the untimely deaths of her husband Patrick, her daughter Maureen, her parents, and her great friend Queenie Sheehan in a short span of time. Her final years were also challenging and demanded fierce courage and perseverance which she proudly displayed to those who continued to surround her. Always with humor she consistently shouted orders from her favorite Queen B Elvis recliner and her home was never absent of a close friend or family member. She received daily phone calls from a faraway favorite Brandie Lugar who referred to Kay as "her favorite lady". To all those who helped us throughout the years and stood by Kay through thick and thin, leaves and moss, sun ups and sunsets, mounds bars and Reese's, ice cream and cheeseburgers, snow and plowing, laps and pit stops, constructive language references, dump runs, car rides, flying Kathleens, the gun and moon and life as she knew it, we the family and Kay herself THANK YOU. Eric you are one in a million, always helpful, a source of strength, and you brightened Grammy's every day. She is survived by her sister Eileen Fisher and her husband William of Holiday, FL , her brother Mike Hannah and his wife Jan of Albuquerque, NM and many nieces and nephews. Per Kay, "Its a real good bet the best is yet to come and wont that be fine."
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Wednesday December 28, 2016, at 11am, in St. John's RC Church 161 Main, Street Old Saybrook. Burial will follow in Riverside Cemetery. In lieu of flowers please consider memorial contributions to SPCA of Connecticut.