NRA director John W. O’Donnell dies at 64
IT is with regret that we report the death of NRA Director John O’Donnell. He died on December 18, 1996. He was 64. O’Donnell, a consulting engineer by profession, was elected to NRA’s board of directors in 1992 and served as the chairman of NRA’s range development committee and as a member of the blackpowder and shotgun sport shooting committees.
A native of Chicago, Illinois, O’Donnell attended Pio Nono High School and then St. Francis College before serving in the U.S. Army in Korea from 1953-1955. After his return, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Illinois in 1957. He worked as an electrician and then a consultant, before forming J.W. O’Donnell & Associates in 1962, where he long served as president and director of engineering. He was also a director and corporate pilot for the American Bitumen Supply Corp. and a professional member of both the Construction Specification Institute and the National Research Council.
An avid hunter, shotgunner and competitive shooter, O’Donnell combined his love of the shooting sports with his professional background in organizing and building ranges in his home state of Wisconsin. He was on the board of the Wisconsin Rifle and Pistol Ass’n and also served as a hunter safety instructor in that state.
He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Mary, and their six children. A John W. O’Donnell Fund has been set up as a permanent part of The NRA Foundation’s Endowment to honor his memory and perpetuate the principles for which he stood.
Copyright National Rifle Association of America May 1997
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