The Times
  • Philip D. O’Donnell, Sr.

  • Philip D. O’Donnell, Sr., age 88, of Church Street, passed away peacefully on Monday afternoon, July 23, 2012, in Bassett Medical Center, Cooperstown. He had the comfort of his loving family at his side.

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  • Philip D. O’Donnell, Sr., age 88, of Church Street, passed away peacefully on Monday afternoon, July 23, 2012, in Bassett Medical Center, Cooperstown. He had the comfort of his loving family at his side.
    He was born on Feb. 20, 1924, in Herkimer, son of the late James P., Sr., and Mabel Bond O’Donnell. A lifelong Herkimer resident, Phil was first educated in St. Francis de Sales Regional Catholic School, Herkimer. He received his high school education at The Manlius School and continued on to complete his undergraduate studies at Cornell University. In March 1943, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he served as a reconnaissance officer with the 4th Infantry Division. He landed in Scotland on V-E day. He often said “The Axis heard I was coming and called it all off.” He was honorably discharged on April 10, 1946, attaining the rank of first lieutenant. He received his law degree at Albany Law School in 1950.
    On April 15, 1950, he was united in marriage with the former Frances Marie Fagan in Saint Theresa of Avela Catholic Church in Albany. They shared a blessed union of fifty-two years until her passing on June 27, 2002.
    A well-respected attorney-at-law, Mr. O’Donnell has maintained his own law office in Herkimer with his son, Philip D. O’Donnell, Jr., and was also a member of the Herkimer County Bar Association. He was a community minded gentleman with memberships in the Herkimer County Historical Society, the 1834 Jail Committee, Herkimer Elks Lodge No. 1439, the Democratic Party and at one time served as Herkimer village attorney. He was also a member of the Cornell Alumni and Albany Law School Alumni. Philip had a strong faith in God and was a member of St. Francis de Sales Church, Herkimer, where he served as a lector.
    In his leisure time, he enjoyed being with his family, completing crossword puzzles, reading any newspaper he could get, watching football and baseball, and was infamous for being an avid horse racing fan.
    To all who knew him, he will forever be remembered for his kind and generous ways; his love of his family and many friends, the New York Yankees, New York Giants and the Buffalo Bills; and his love of good food, a dish of ice cream and his many trips to Saratoga with his best friend, Leighton Burns. He will be greatly missed by many, especially his children and cherished grandchildren.
    He is survived by a daughter, Ellen O. Nalley, of Danbury, Conn.; a son, Philip D. O’Donnell, Jr., and his wife, Diane S., of Herkimer; seven grandchildren, Elizabeth S. Nalley, John Richard Nalley, IV, and Patrick O’Donnell Nalley, all of Danbury, Conn., Megan Marie O’Donnell and her husband, Thomas Szalkowski, of Fredericksburg, Va., Caitlin Frances O’Donnell and her companion, Aaron Veino, and Bridget Carol O’Donnell, all of Boston, Mass., and Philip Daniel O’Donnell, III, of Herkimer; three great-grandchildren, Chase William Nalley, Reese William Nalley and Kaidyn Jack Nalley, all of Danbury, Conn.
    Page 2 of 2 - Besides his parents and wife, Frances, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Daniel B. O’Donnell and James P. O’Donnell, Jr.; two sisters, Mabel Lounsberry and Elizabeth Bassett; and a son-in-law, John R. Nalley, III.
    Funeral from Fenner Funeral Home, Inc., 115 Court St., Herkimer, on Friday at 9:30 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. in Saint Francis de Sales Church, Herkimer. The Reverend Mark Cunningham, pastor, will officiate. Interment with military honors will follow in Calvary Cemetery. The family will be present in the funeral home to receive relatives and friends on Thursday from 4 until 8 p.m. Members of Herkimer Elks Lodge No. 1439 are asked to meet at the funeral home for ritualistic services at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday.
    Expressions of sympathy may be made with memorial donations to Saint Francis de Sales Regional Catholic School or the Danbury Hospital Development Fund/Family Birth Center. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home.
    The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation to the doctors and staff at Bassett Medical Center for the care and compassion shown Phil during his stay at the hospital.