James J. O’Donnell, Jr , 70, of Key Largo, FL (previously of Southington, CT) peacefully set sail for his next adventure on Tuesday, January 5, 2021. He was the loving husband of Karen DiVito O’Donnell for almost 50 years. He was born August 12, 1950 to James J. O’Donnell, Sr. and Caroline Mongillo O’Donnell. He graduated from Southington High School in 1968, and attended Northwestern CT Community College prior to honorably serving in the United States Air Force. He was a member of the Upper Keys Sons and Daughters of Italy, as well as an officer of the Lime Grove Estates HOA.
Jim was a family man and excelled at celebrating life, always finding reasons to do so (birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, FCO parties, and even hurricanes). Those who had the pleasure of knowing him understood his life was a journey that was not measured in years, but in experiences. He participated in various sports leagues and was the mayor of the Wednesday night Southington Country Club golf league for decades. Jim loved to travel, taking frequent cruises and trips to New Orleans, and loved attending Jimmy Buffett concerts with his friends and family (early on teaching a lesson that a ratio of 12 beers to 6 people is never ok). His attitude changed with his latitude, fulfilling his dream of finding his own salty piece of land in the Florida Keys prior to his retirement from working in the IT Industry. He thoroughly enjoyed bringing family and friends on road trips to the Everglades, Key West, and anywhere and everywhere in between.
In addition to his wife, Jim is survived by his daughter Shane O’Donnell Zajac and her husband Eric; his son Ryan O’Donnell and his wife, Lorin (Walonoski); and his son Eric O’Donnell and his wife, Nina (Caruso), all of Southington, Connecticut. He is also survived by his 4 beloved grandchildren, Brooke Zajac, Ryan O’Donnell, Jr., Mark O’Donnell, and Allison Zajac; as well as his brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends. He was predeceased by his sister Charlene O’Donnell Chain.
A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date.
Jim, your wrinkles were only a product of your smile and infectious laugh (because the wrinkles only go where the smiles have been). We take comfort in knowing you lived out the rest of your days in your happy place and are now in a vintage Volkswagen Beetle with the rest of the gang, on your way to a golf course with endless ice cold beer and an abundance of vegetation as an alternate restroom. Your presence is missed, your memory we treasure, loving you always and forgetting you never. Cheers.
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