Dennis Charles O’Donnell passed away due to respiratory failure from ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, on February 16, 2008, leaving behind family, friends and business associates, all who knew him as “O’D”.

O’D was born on April 21, 1943 at San Francisco Children’s Hospital to Charles and Gail (Boman) O’Donnell.

After completing his education at St. Vincent’s, Vallejo, and Napa High School, graduating in 1961, he went on to Napa Jr. College.  He then served in the army including a tour of duty in Vietnam.  O’D attended many institutions of higher learning, finally getting his degree from San Jose State College.

After college O’D began his sales career, which included jobs with Procter and Gamble, Johnson and Johnson, Berkey Photo and Harbinger.  In 1998 he started his own manufacturers representative business, O’D Sales.  It was a perfect fit for him and he was very successful running his own business.  During these years O’D also indulged in another love of his life, coaching football.  He enjoyed working with young people and his fellow coaches.  He was able to devote more time to playing golf and continued until he was physically unable to do so.

His strongest attribute was to cultivate friendships and increase his ever-widening circle of friends.  He acquired and kept these friendships through all stages of his life.  O’D said that everyone he met ” became his new best friend”.  These are the facts of O’D’s life, but they don’t give the feeling of the man.  He was so much more.  They don’t convey the warmth and thoughtfulness of him:  the just plain fun and humor, the jokes he played, the magic tricks he pulled, the daffy ducks he loved, the pantomimes he performed, the theater he enjoyed, and the great parties he gave.

O’D is survived by his wife of 40 years, Barbara O’Donnell, son K.C. O’Donnell, sister Janice Talbott and husband Jim, nephews Mike, Greg and Scott Talbott and their families.  He was pre-deceased by his parents Charles and Gail O’Donnell and his daughter Kristi O’Donnell Hill.
Donations in O’D’s memory may be made to Hospice of Napa Valley, 411 S. Jefferson St., Napa, Ca 94559. 


A Celebration of O’D’s Life will be held on March 15, 2008 from 1PM to 5PM at Napa Valley Expo’s Chardonnay Hall.