Thomas A. O’Donnell

Boonville- Thomas A. O’Donnell passed away on Saturday, February 13 in Hospice at his home in Boonville, NY after a long illness.

Mr. O’Donnell was born in Lansing Michigan on 7/12/1933 to Francis (nee Arnold) and Alfred O’Donnell.

His parents, Francis and Alfred were graduates of Michigan State with degrees in Journalism. The couple moved to Boonville, where Alfred took the job of Editor of The Boonville Herald and later purchased the Western Auto Hardware store that he managed and O’Donnell’s Gift Store that his wife Francis managed.

Mr. O’Donnell’s Grandfather, Thomas C. O’Donnell was an author/genealogist who wrote histories of the Black River Canal, was also the Editor of the National Masonic magazine The Masonic Outlook as well as an active playwright and author of several books such as Snubbing posts, Birth of a River, The Ladder of Rickety Rungs and The Sapbush Run.

Thomas attended Adirondack High School and was class Salutatorian. After graduation he attended Cornell University and majored in Agricultural Journalism for one year before accepting a job with Wallace Howell Associates that sent him to Cuba for 1 year working with a Meteorology team in cloud seeding (Rain making.) After leaving Cuba he attended Florida State University and studied meteorology.

Mr. O’Donnell then joined the Airforce, serving during the Korean war and while stationed stateside, was permanently injured in a car accident, served another year, and was honorably discharged.

After the Airforce he accepted a position with Holland Furniture, then took over management of the Western Auto Hardware Store from his Father Alfred O’Donnell.

Mr. O’Donnell married Donna (nee Ferris) on February 3rd, 1962 and had 5 children, daughter Loraine, sons Thomas, Peter, Michael, and Timothy.

He sold the businesses in 1983 and worked for the US Postal Service until he retired in 1998.

His beloved wife Donna pre-deceased him in 2018.

Thomas is survived by his daughter Loraine, son Thomas (Elisabeth), Peter (Eun), Michael, Timothy, grandchildren Declan, Kellen, Kaden, David, Lily and Branden, Sisters-in-law Diana Coyne and Connie Redding and his beloved dog Bub.

Thomas was an avid sportsman who enjoyed deer hunting, fishing, and outdoor activities. 

He was a loving, caring Father who, despite his permanent war injury, (his ankle was crushed, and he was in constant pain) spent quality time with his children, sharing his love of the outdoors.

A proud veteran, Tom had a sharp sense of humor, good friends, and a love for a great Manhattan. 

He was married to the love of his life Donna for 56 years.

Due to COVID-19, services will be held during Spring/Summer, at a date to be announced later.  His Funeral Arrangements are in care of Trainor Funeral Home, Inc. 143 Schuyler St. Boonville.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be sent in his name to Oneida County Hospice and Palliative Care,  Inc. 4277 Middle Settlement Road, New Hartford, NY 13413 or the Lewis County Humane Society, P.O. Box 682, Lowville, NY 13367.

For an on-line message of sympathy, please go to 

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