Russell J O'Donnell
August 23, 1937 ~ September 20, 2020
Russell J. O’Donnell, age 83, of Elma, IA passed away Sunday, September 20, 2020 at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester, MN with his family by his side. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 AM on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 at Immaculate Conception Church in Elma, IA with Father Jerry Kopacek celebrating the mass. Please feel free to join the family via Facebook Live to attend the mass online. Military Honors will be provided by Elma American Legion Post #597. Burial will be at St. Patrick of St. Cecelia Cemetery in rural Elma. Online condolences may be left at www.conway-markhamfh.com. Memorials may be directed to The Friends of St. Patrick of St. Cecelia Church and St. Mary’s Hospice Unit. Visitation will be held from 4:00-7:00 PM on Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at Conway-Markham Funeral Home in Elma with a 7:00 PM Time of Sharing. Visitation will continue at the funeral home one hour prior to the funeral mass on Wednesday. The family has requested that anyone attending the visitation and/or funeral mask be respectful of social distancing guidelines and mask requirements. Russ was born August 23, 1937, the son of Francis and Marie (Ferrie) O’Donnell in Elma, IA. He attended and graduated from Immaculate Conception High School. After completing his education, Russ enlisted in the US Army. He returned home in 1958, when he met the love of his life, Margaret Keenan at a dance and spent the next 60 years dancing. They were united in marriage on January 7, 1961 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Waukon, IA. The couple made their home in Elma, where they welcomed three of their children, Mike, Pat and Cathy. Russ owned and operated a tank truck service. The young family moved to Lawler, welcoming their youngest child, Mary. Russ and Margaret purchased and ran what’s known today as, “The Brite Spot.” The family returned to Elma purchasing Pints Gas Station, turning it into Russ’s Conoco Station. He added a rock truck service. In 1980, Russ received a US Mail service contract and transported for the United States Postal Service for the remainder of his career, retiring in 1999. In his later years, Russ enjoyed spending time with and supporting his grandchildren. He was always busy with a community function or two, and he and Margaret enjoyed trips to the Mississippi. There was always time to drop a line in the water or take aim during hunting season with his children and grandchildren. Those left to cherish Russ’ memory are his wife, Margaret O’Donnell of Elma, IA; his children, Mike (Trudy) O’Donnell of Elma, IA, Pat (Carol) O’Donnell of Nora Springs, IA, Cathy (Bruce) Fox of Owatonna, MN and Mary (Brad) Shupe of Rockwell, IA; his twelve grandchildren, Robert “Bob”, Chelsea, Jenna, Connor, Carly, Jake, Loryn, Joe, Haden, Maddison, McKensie, and Maci; one great-grandson, Nolan; his brother, Jerry (Barb) O’Donnell of Cresco; his sisters, Lavon (Galen) Fye of Cresco, IA, Lois (Don) Recker of Cresco and Mary Kay (Tom) Bucheit of Osage, IA and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Jerome and Gene; sister, Ann Neubauer, and brother-in-law, Joe Neubauer.