Teddy Lee O’Donnell Sr., age 73, of Perkins, passed away peacefully at home on November 21, 2019. Funeral services will begin at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 27, 2019 at the Carney High School Gymnasium with burial following in the Perkins Cemetery, Perkins, OK. Strode Funeral Home and Cremation is in charge of arrangements.
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Born in Fresno, CA. to Charles and Laurl (Cypret) O’Donnell on February 15, 1946, Ted spent most of his life in the Lincoln and Payne county areas. He was raised around Stillwater, instilled with values of faith, hard work, and love by his family. As a teenager he spent many hours working with his brothers, father, and uncles in the family- run plumbing shop on 12th Street in Stillwater.
He attended Stillwater schools, becoming a star nose tackle on the 1963 state runner-up football team, and was FFA President upon graduating in 1964. That same year Ted joined the U.S. Army National Guard and married Lavena Boyce. The marriage gifted Ted with his first three children, Teddy, Jr., Tommy and Kimberly.
In 1965 Ted followed the family tradition and became a plumber and member of Local Union 369 (344) out of Oklahoma City. His dream of public service was realized in 1966 when Ted and his family moved to Carney where he became the Chief of Police in 1969. He firmly planted his roots in Carney, assuming roles ranging from streets and alley maintenance to Santa Claus and town plumber, for which he wouldn’t accept payment. He was also a 32nd Degree Master Mason out of Chandler Lodge 58. Ted considered it an honor to help others.
Ted got his first glimpse of county government in the 70’s as a Lincoln County Deputy Sheriff. In 1982 he was elected to the first of his five terms as County Commissioner, the last being in 2014. As the family grew in 1984 after a divorce and remarriage to Susan Loftin, this union welcomed 2 more children Ty Cobb & Babe Ruth.
Ted coached all of his boys in little league baseball and mentored many others that would come to love the man. Sports were a passion of his, especially the OSU Cowboys and he loved to umpire college and high school baseball. In 1998 he was honored as an OCA All-State Umpire.
As Commissioner, Ted developed many friendships and fulfilled his cherished ambition of helping people. Rural communities, schools, churches and people always held a special place in Ted’s heart and he did all he could to see them prosper. Although Carney would become Ted’s hometown, he always had a fondness of Tryon, Agra and Parkland, doing everything he could to see them flourish.
Retirement wasn’t ever in the cards for Ted although he “officially” did so a few times. Chasing ballgames and grandkids, family was everything to Ted. He took the ultimate pride in his last name but also knew family stretched beyond it. As a member of the Carney First Assembly of God, Ted walked with Jesus daily and was not afraid to tell others of his faith in the good Lord. Family and friends will always remember Ted’s loving blue eyes and robust stature, gained from helping others in need, no matter the burden.
Ted is survived by his sons Teddy O’Donnell and wife Jodi and Tom O’Donnell and wife Tara, both of Perkins, Babe O’Donnell and wife Jennifer of Tryon, and daughter Kimberly O’Donnell of Stillwater. Also surviving are two brothers, Tim O’Donnell and wife Vicki of Antlers, OK and James O’Donnell and wife Betty of Oolagah, OK, along with 10 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
He is predeceased by his parents Charles and Laurl O’Donnell, his sister Karen Kay O’Donnell, his brothers Charles E. O’Donnell and Bob O’Donnell, and his son Ty O’Donnell.