Cover photo for Donna Lea O'Dell's Obituary
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1933 Donna 2024

Donna Lea O'Dell

November 23, 1933 — May 17, 2024

Mason City

Donna Lea O'Dell of Mason City passed away Friday evening May 17, 2024 at MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center. Donna was 90 years old and in reasonably good health until just a few weeks ago. 

Donna was born on November 23, 1933, in Mason City to Ellsworth "Bud" and Pauline (Pressnall) Hall, she attended Central Heights School, Roosevelt Junior High and Mason City High School. Donna was an avid reader her entire life. She married her soul mate, William W. O'Dell in Albert Lee, MN on October 31, 1952. To this blessed union two sons, William and Robert were born. Donna enjoyed her family and was there for her boys always. She was a Cub Scout leader and a member of the PTA throughout her children's education. Donna and her husband Bill always made time for each other and family vacations were varied and lavish every year. They were happily married for 56 years when Bill passed away after a lengthy illness.
Donna is survived by her oldest son, William "Bill" O'Dell; sister, Virginia of Rockford, IA; daughter-in-law, Linda of Forest City, IA; sisters-in-law, Wendy Hall of Fort Mohave, AZ; Pat and her husband Willis Bull, and Joan Sharp of Vancouver, WA; Donna had 7 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and 5 great-great-grandchildren. She loved her grandchildren and will be sorely missed.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Bud and Pauline Hall; her in-laws, Fred and Violet O'Dell; loving husband Bill; youngest son, Robert "Bob"; daughter-in-law, Kathy Dirksen O'Dell; sisters, Patty and Jane; brothers-in-law, Fred, Michael, Jim, Jesse, John and Darrell; and her brothers Allan and Robert Hall.

Donna requested that there be no visitation or funeral services. She will be cremated and her remains will be inurned alongside those of her husband at Memorial Park Cemetery, Mason City. Donna once told her son Bill that she would like to be remembered by the words of her favorite poem, "Afterglow."

" I'd like the memory of me to be a happy one.
I'd like to leave an afterglow of smiles when life is done.
I'd like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times and bright and sunny days.
I'd like the tears of those who grieve, to dry before the sun;
Of happy memories that I leave when my life is done."
By: Helen Lowrie Marshall
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