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Merton Clifford O'Donnell

NEWCOMB Born very prematurely in West Charleston, Vermont (weighing only one and a half pounds), his first few months of life were spent in a shoebox (near the open oven door, swaddled by cotton batting and strips of flannel sheets) while fighting for his life and eating by eyedropper. He was the first-born son of Merton (Murdick) Slim ODonnell and Doris Crowe (both having pre-deceased him). His other siblings were/are Florence Pawnee (infant deceased at 9 months of age from Lombard Pneumonia), Olga Lapell (North Creek), Douglas (Corinth), and Rita Perry of Virginia (she also pre-deceased him in late 2006/early 2007). He was 80 years old. During his final days, he was under hospice care and crossed over to his new life, (finally free of pain), while at his home in Grover Hills. All his family members (and those having grown up with his now-adult children) had their chance to talk, visit, sing, play guitar and sit with him prior to his crossing over. He was surrounded in his final hours by his wife, brother and sisters, children, some of his grandchildren and his very first great-grandson. He joked about the fact that he had met his first great-grandson before his wife did, and that tickled him immensely (I got one over on your mom). He was a very proud Brother, Dad, Grandpa, and Great-Grandpa. Family was everything to him. Of all the pets his children brought home, his favorite (such a good little dog), had to have been his first Grandsons Dog (Cricket), and she was probably waiting for him, leash in mouth, offering her paw, during his final moments. He was a 1945 graduate of Newcomb NY High School, worked for National Lead, Ford Motor Company (assembly line) in Detroit, Michigan, Dye House Helper for Consolidate Tobacco (Connecticut). It was when he was working for Consolidate Tobacco that he met and married his future wife (Jeanette Osowiski) on November 12, 1954. They were married over 53 years. He also worked at Pratt and Whitney Aircraft, and Pioneer Steel Ball (Unionville Connecticut). He returned with his family to the Mines and this area in October of 1967. He continued to work the mines until their closure in the early 1970s. He made medical history as he was one of the first single-bypass operation patients performed in Burlington, Vermont, living well after most patients of that type of surgery would have even just 10 years earlier. He finished his working career at BOCES (maintenance) and then Essex Industries (Sheltered Workshop), until his retirement at age 65. He then became The Oldest Paperboy in Mineville, delivering the Press-Republican Newspaper on many an early morning. He is survived by his brothers and sisters (Doug ODonnell and Olga Lapell) wife of over 53 years, Jeannette ODonnell (Horace Nye Nursing Home in Elizabethtown NY), son Michael (Albany), daughter Mary Gutreuter (Crown Point), daughter Elizabeth Austin (Mineville), daughter Tina Mount, Brooke/Morgan/Paige/Reagan ODonnell, Casey Collins, Karsyn ODonnell, Connor Rodriguez, Jared Firlik, Wes Larmour, Joel Mount, Cheryl Hill), and many adults who were Just Like One of The Kids (Go Ahead and Toss-em in the mix, one more wont make a difference) over the years. A public memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 15, 2007 at the Mount Moriah Presbyterian Church in Port Henry. Internment of his cremated remains will be in the spring at the convenience of the family members. The date will be announced and will appear as the time draws near. Arrangements are being made through Harlands Funeral Home of Port Henry New York.

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