John A. O'Donnell

December 24, 1936 ~ April 6, 2020 (age 83)


John O’Donnell, 83, passed away peacefully on Monday, April 6, 2020, at Ashbrook Rehabilitation Center, Scotch Plains.  He was born in Bayonne to the late Annie (nee: Breslin) and John O’Donnell, both who came to the United States from County Donegal, Ireland, and was a long-time resident.

John proudly served the nation as a member of the United States Army.

Following his service to the country, he became the beloved proprietor of the establishment known as O’Donnell’s Tavern.  There, John served as the patriarch of the family that was to become O’Donnell’s Tavern for over 35 years. The tavern sponsored numerous youth and adult sports teams throughout his tenure “Behind the Stick.” 

John was very proud of his Irish Heritage.  His establishment was well-known for showcasing Irish Music on the weekends and was a required stop on the day of the Bayonne St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  He was also a founding member of the Bayonne Irish American League.

John was a member of the Port St. Lucie Knights of Columbus and the Bayonne Tavern Owners’ Association.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 60 years, Mary Ellen (nee: Gallagher) O’Donnell; his loving sons, Joey and Danny O’Donnell; his dear daughter-in-law, Gail (nee: White) O’Donnell; his adoring grandchildren, Joseph O’Donnell, Jr., Daniel O’Donnell, Jr., and Caleigh Anne O’Donnell; his dear sisters-in-law, Grace McCarry and Julia Sexton (Tony); and his beloved first cousins, Gracie Ward and AnnMarie McNally. He will be remembered by his beautiful family…..the O’Donnell’s, the Gallagher’s and the Breslin’s.

John will be greeted in heaven, with open arms, by his late son, Brian O’Donnell.  Then, there will be a rousing time in Fiddler’s Green as he is greeted by his late brother, Patrick O’Donnell; his brothers-in-law, Arthur Gallagher and Denis McCarry, as well as Hubie Ward and Jimmy McNally, and all those who have passed from the family known as O’Donnell’s Tavern.

John’s death was unrelated to the Coronavirus, but due to the pandemic, private funeral services will be conducted by Bayonne Memorial Home, Inc.  A memorial gathering and service will take place at a later date.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him.  May John rest in peace.

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