O’Donnell, Sr., Kenneth Eugene
April 17, 1933 – November 6, 2018
Born in Chanute, Kansas to Thelma and Edward O’Donnell, Kenneth’s spirit crossed to the other side Tuesday in Sacramento, California at the age of 85. He is proceeded in death by both parents, his three older sisters, Frances Nadene Bisbee, Patricia Ketten, Dorothy Neubauer, his second wife Francine O’Donnell and a daughter, Lydia Larsen. He is survived by his daughters, Laura K. O’Donnell, Karen Hale, Kimberly Barkey; his sons, Kenneth E. O’Donnell, Jr., and Franklin Muniz; stepdaughter, Dawn Richards; grandchildren that he raised and helped raise: Anna Kumar, Luis Moran, Bernadette Nakamura, Guadalupe Blackburn, Rigoberto Flores, Abel Vallejos, Angelique O’Donnell; grandchildren, Ashley Hale, Danielle Hale, Kaitlin Hale, Aviana O’Donnell, Alila O’Donnell, Aden Smith; his first wife and lifetime friend Alberta (Bobbie/Mum) O’Donnell;
16 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren. A Korean War Veteran , he was a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, VA Post 4647 in North Highlands, CA. Serving as a Signal Message Clerk in the United States Army , he was Honorably discharged with a Korean Service Medal, United Nations Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal and ROK Presidential Unit Citation.
His passion was baseball, playing for the Sacramento Solons . He was proud to say he was recruited by the Pittsburgh Pirates but unfortunately unable to pursue his career playing baseball when he was called to serve in the United States Army. He spent time playing baseball in Japan where he learned to speak Japanese, which he remembered throughout his lifetime. He graduated from Grant Union High School and attended American River College .He retired from the Department of Defense at McClellan AFB after
42 years of service. As the Division Manager of the Printing Department, he oversaw both the Airforce and Naval Divisions during his final years, reporting to the Commanding Officer in Oakland.
An avid bowler, he was recognized by the California State Bowling Association for his 30+ years of service to the tournament and was the President of the Sacramento Association for the 1978 – 1979 season. He served as President of the Del Campo Girls Softball League for the 1973 season and coached several girls All Star teams throughout the 1970’s. An avid hunter and fisher, he loved the outdoors and enjoyed taking his family camping. A member of Thousand Trails , his favorite location was Snowflower in Emigrant Gap, where he would take his RV until his later years. He enjoyed hunting trips with his grandson and nephews and looked forward to getting tags for out of state trips.
More than anything else, he enjoyed his large family, his Pepsi and vanilla ice cream. To allow Lydia’s children to remain together, he selflessly took his grandchildren into his home and raised them. He struggled with Alzheimer’s for the last several years of his life and passed with family around his bedside at his home near Antelope on Tuesday afternoon, November 6th.
A celebration of life will be held Tuesday, November 27th from 5pm – 8pm at Woodcreek Golf Club, 5880 Woodcreek Oaks Blvd, Roseville, CA.