Daniel E. O'Donnell

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Daniel E. O’Donnell, age 65, of Elkader, formerly of Rolfe, passed away Dec. 20, 2023, at MercyOne Hospital, Elkader. A visitation will be held on Saturday, April 20, at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Volga, from 1 to 3 p.m.


He was born April 1, 1958, in Ft. Dodge, to Kenneth Gerald and Donna Jean (Forbes) O’Donnell. He attended Des Moines Township School and graduated from Rolfe Community School in 1976. While in school, he was involved in track, football and little league baseball. Daniel also helped his father and grandfather farm while in high school. During this time (mid 70s) he took part in motocross racing throughout north central and northwest Iowa regions.  After high school, he worked in several local parts stores ( Rolfe, Gilmore City and Pocahontas)  for seven years. He then worked for Hy-Capacity for 11 years, finishing as purchasing manager. After that, he worked for Cabela’s in Prairie du Chien, Wis., for seven years in their archery/hunting department. His last few years were spent working at Wilke’s in Elkader. Daniel was a member of the Rolfe Jaycees, serving as treasurer and vice president. He was also a founding member of the Humboldt Archery Iowa Bow Hunter Association, and served one term as area representative for the north central Iowa region.


Daniel enjoyed archery/bowhunting with a passion, and helped his two children develop a love of the sport and the outdoors. Many times you could find him fishing local ponds or the west fork of the Des Moines River. Daniel also enjoyed writing poetry, cooking/grilling and watching TV shows about cooking and food. He especially enjoyed playing cards with family and friends. He loved to see the Hawkeyes win and the Packers lose. Paint Your Wagon was an all time favorite. He never met a stranger.


He was united in marriage to Christine Wittrock in 1980. Two children, Jennifer and Ross, were born to this union. They were divorced in 2002 and Daniel was then joined in marriage to Joan Moore in 2005.


He is survived by his wife Joan; his daughter Jennifer (Shawn) O’Donnell-Clarke and granddaughters Esmerie and Dahlia, of Cedar Rapids; his son Ross (Hannah) O’Donnell and grandson Eliott of Watkins; father Kenneth O’Donnell of Clarinda; sisters Kathy (Neil) Kuhlman and Debra Scalise; brother Dennis O’Donnell; as well as many nieces and nephews.


Daniel was preceded in death by his mother Donna O’Donnell and grandparents Gerald and Audrey O’Donnell and Noble and Willa Mae Forbes.

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