JACK WEBB O’DONNELL
August 25, 1926 ˜ December 28, 2020
Jack was born on Aug. 25, 1926, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, to Earl and Irene (Webb) O’Donnell of Tacoma, WA. He died peacefully at Legacy Salmon Creek Hospital, Vancouver, WA, with his two sons, Steve and Ryan by his bedside. Jack’s spirit departed our earth on Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, at 10:42 a.m. His death was the result of complications from prostate cancer, congestive heart failure and diabetes. Jack was 94 years, 4 months, and 2 days!
Jack attended Lowell Elementary in Tacoma during the Great Depression and then Cheltenham High School in Elkins Park, PA, when his father was transferred to Philadelphia during his 16th year, the summer of ’42, he came back to the west coast by train and took a job position with the Forest Service as a ‘fire watcher’ in Central Oregon. He manned a fire tower with no TV or phone and received supplies on a weekly basis. At age 17, Jack enlisted in the US Navy and was sent to the Pacific Theater during the last two years of World War II. He served on the USS Norton Sound which was a tender ship to the Naval Aircraft carriers in the region.
After the war, Jack returned to the Pacific Northwest and attended the University of Washington on the GI Bill. While at UW, he met Thelma Kathleen Spargur. They married June 30, 1949, in the Episcopal Church in Renton, WA. Thelma’s family had come to the Pacific NW during the depression from Missouri to Bremerton. After graduating from Bremerton High School, Thelma worked at Best Shoe Store in downtown Seattle which would become Nordstrom’s Best. Thelma passed on March 22, 2013, in Vancouver. Jack’s first professional job was with Mutual Loan Finance Co., where he was an assistant manager in Seattle. They built a home on Mercer Island and had two sons who were both born in Seattle. Jack was transferred to Vancouver in 1953 to become an office manager for Mutual Loan Finance Co.
Jack and Thelma quickly immersed themselves into the Vancouver community, joining St Luke’s Episcopal Church, the Vancouver Jaycees, the Hazel Dell Merchants Association, and Royal Oaks Country Club (1962). Jack also became a member of the Rotary Club of Vancouver where he was a member for 20-plus years and believed in and lived the Four Way Test of Rotary.
Jack’s career spanned five decades and several career industries. After 10 years in the finance industry he ventured out and started American Pacific Plywood and Pay N Pak, selling plywood, building materials, lighting and hardware. After 10 years in the home supply business, he joined Robert Coy Construction (CASCO). He was the company’s site manager and lead salesperson that built single family homes in the Hazel Dell Lakeshore area. After 12 years of home building, Jack founded and owned Vancouver Realty until retiring in 1996.
Jack and his wife of 64 years lived a wonderful full life in Vancouver. Through their church, membership associations and careers, they met the most wonderful friends of the community. They played tennis, golfed and enjoyed many boating / skiing outings. Became snowbirds during retirement days to Palm Desert, CA. They traveled extensively around the world with his business associate, Robert Coy and his wife Dolores. They lived in Hazel Dell during the sixties on Ludlum Hill and enjoyed many neighborhood activities. Jack had a special place in his heart for the aloha life. He started up a plywood warehouse in Honolulu, HI, in 1964 and had a timeshare on Maui during the 1990s. Jack was involved for decades with a friendly monthly poker group. He was predeceased in the group by Bob Coy, Sam Jones, Bob Wiesmann, Leon Pagel and Mayor Jim Justin. Charlie Goodson is currently the last man standing from this infamous poker group.
Jack dedicated his life to his family! He was instrumental in hosting our annual O’Donnell Family Reunion at Gearhart, OR, where golf, beach outings, and celebrating the 4th of July with crab feed, bonfire, and fireworks!
Jack is survived by his two sons, Steve O’Donnell (Julie Harper) of Gig Harbor, WA, Ryan O’Donnell (Connie Collins) of Vancouver; four grandchildren, Joe O’Donnell (April Reiter, two children, Jack and Amelia) of Gig Harbor, Jessica O’Donnell (Max Galesi) of Bellevue, WA, Sara Elkins (Ethan Elkins, three children Mason, Emerson and Marley), Chris O’Donnell (Cate Hamilton, four children Gwendolyn, Natalie, Colin and Marlow) of Fairview, TX. He is also survived by his brother, Richard O’Donnell (Mary McDonald) of Bellevue; nephew, Sean O’Donnell (Shelly, two children, Logan & Maria) of Seattle; niece, Tammy Cowan (Tom Cowan) of Lopez Island, WA.
The family will hold a Celebration of Life for Jack W. O’Donnell in late spring of this year at St Luke’s Episcopal Church in the Fellowship Hall Vancouver.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a remembrance to a charity of your choice
or the Vancouver Cancer Society
. God Bless All of You!
Please sign his guest book @ www.vancouverfuneral chapel.net
and share a memory @ www.columbian.com/obits