Barbara O'DonnellOctober 3, 2016
March 6, 1929 – October 3, 2016
The family of Barbara O’Donnell is deeply saddened to announce her passing at Samaritan Place in Saskatoon. Barbara is survived by her loving husband of 65 years, Dr. Maurice O’Donnell; children Michael (Geri), Mary (Rod) Verboom, Bernie (Carla) and Gerry (Soraya); and grandchildren Marina, Kathy, Ryan (Jasmine), and Mahara who will miss her immensely and carry their memories of her and love for her always forward. Barbara was born in Assiniboia, SK to Patrick and Beatrice Murphy (nee Spangler). Barbara’s sister Gail Rolavs of Toronto and her family will keep her in their hearts. Barbara’s life had many journeys and destinations including living in Humboldt, high school at St. Mary’s in Winnipeg, University of Saskatchewan (BA) and University of Toronto (BSW). Along those journeys, many lifelong, passionate friendships were forged. Barbara and Maurice were school friends who married on September 3, 1951 in Toronto. Returning to Saskatchewan, first in Regina and then for 27 years in Kindersley, the emphasis was on family, community service and making a difference in the many lives she touched. Barbara found time between raising a family and working in mental health services to always slow things down so that real, honest conversations about life, living and relationships could be maintained. She was able to do this one on one, in small groups and through organizations as diverse as the Catholic Woman’s League, the Sask. Association for Mental Health, The Schizophrenia Society and many others whether it be at a local, provincial, national or international level. Upon retiring from full time social work and moving to Saskatoon, Barbara continued to make other’s lives enriched especially with the building of a school in Grenada with C.E.S.O. and doing board and staff development with Interval House of Saskatoon. Barbara was dynamic, impactful and was always able to help foster change in organizations and in the relationships that people have. Barbara had a love for travel and adventure. Along with her husband Maurice, she was able to see the world through many trips and brought those memories home to share with clarity, compassion and the sense that we all share life’s journey. Barbara touched many lives through all that she did. It was her nature and pleasure. She truly wanted to leave the people, places and ideas she came to in a better place. Barbara was destined to journey and the more she discovered, the better all that knew her became, as she shared willingly and lovingly. The family would like to express their sincere appreciation to the staff and residents of Samaritan Place. The care provided and the loved afforded were meaningful beyond words. In lieu of flowers, the family would suggest a donation in Barbara’s name to Samaritan Place – Candle Cottage (375 Cornish Road, Saskatoon, SK S7T 0P3). The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, October 8, 2016 at St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church (602 Boychuk Dr.) in Saskatoon. Following the reception, the Rite of Committal will take place at Woodlawn Catholic Cemetery. Arrangements in care of John Schachtel – Mourning Glory Funeral Services (306) 978-5200.