Mary O'Donnell

Mary Ann O'Donnell

December 15, 1946 - June 19, 2019
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Mary Ann O’Donnell, 72, of Pittsfield, MA, passed away June 19, 2019.

She was born in Pittsfield on December 15, 1946 to Lawrence R. and Mary Ann Zavadsky Trudeau.

She was a member of Wahconah’s Class of 1964. A graduate of MCLA, she then went on to receive her Master’s Degree. She began her teaching career in the late 1960s at Pioneer Valley High School in Northfield. Shortly thereafter she left the profession and worked in private industry. Mary came back to Wahconah in the mid-1980s as a substitute teacher. She became a full-time member of the Social Studies department in 1994 and served as department chair from 1996 until 2015 and retired in 2016. The Class of 2019 was the last freshmen class that she taught. She genuinely loved history and had a particular affinity for the history of the Middle East. She also was incredibly involved with the local animal shelter and truly loved raising her German shepherds.

She leaves behind her son, Robert O’Donnell of Kalona, Iowa and her family friend, Ed Daniels, of North Adams.

FUNERAL NOTICE: A graveside service for Mrs. O’Donnell will be held, Friday, June 28, 2019 at 2:00pm at North Becket Cemetery, celebrated by Rev. Christopher Malatesta, Pastor of St. Agnes Church. Calling hours will be held, Thursday, June 27, 2019 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm at DERY FUNERAL HOME in PITTSFIELD. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in her name to the Berkshire Humane Society; Wounded Warriors Project or Boys Town, in care of the funeral home, 54 Bradford Street, Pittsfield, MA 01201.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    June 27, 2019 | 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    June 27, 2019 4:00pm - 7:00pm
    Dery Funeral Home
    54 Bradford Street
    PITTSFIELD, MA 01201
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    June 28, 2019 | 2:00pm
    June 28, 2019 2:00pm
    North Becket Cemetery
    Rev. Christopher Malatesta
  • Interment

    North Becket Cemetery
    Rte. 8
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email



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Caitlin Graham

Posted at 07:24pm
Mary O'Donnell made fancy grilled cheese sandwiches in her not-so-secret classroom kitchen, loved making Word documents “suck less” with her type-setting skills, made hysterical nicknames for everyone (yes... if you’re reading this and you knew Mary, she had a nickname for you and it was probably inappropriate), convinced me on several occasions to wear a headscarf and sunglasses to Thelma & Louise our way to Pedrin’s in Stangy, always took time to explain the differences between the Belgian Malinois and German Shepherd when someone was confused, prided herself on her “prim” crafts... especially the witches and cats, and knew her way around EBay like no one else I’ve ever met. Mary had the wildest stories about friendships she made during her biker days and the truckers she met giving directions on her CB radio late at night, she loved early morning candy shopping the day after every holiday (for the best deals!), and after she retired loved to take an extended lunch at Applebee’s to watch all the “suckers” who had to go back to work. I will miss exchanging ridiculous cat photos and unique knitting patterns with the “Queen of P”, and I will make sure that “Silly Pants Friday” lives on in her honor. ❤️

Amanda Garceau

Posted at 06:37pm
"George" as I knew her was an amazing personality. One of few people I've known my entire life. My mother's only real friend. She will be so missed. Bobby, if you see this, I will be out of town for the services, which makes me terribly sad. Please get in touch, we are going through the same thing right now. ❤

Logan Brooks

Posted at 01:19pm
I met Mrs. O’Donnell as a freshman student of hers in fall of 2011. Although I initially had a hard time as a student in her class, I learned how to be a much better student, and she prepared me for college more than any other person. She was more than an educator, I soon found out, but rather a teacher of life lessons. Soon thereafter, We could be found after school talking about whatever historical event came to mind, or German Shepards, classic cars (particularly mustangs), or just about any other topic that came to mind. We became friends from there, and after her retirement I spent many a day sitting and talking with her (and occasionally helping with yard-work, but that usually ended up in more hours long conversations) Her hilarious sarcastic comments, self proclamation as the queen of useless information, and honest (although sometimes rough) caring for others made her a very unique person. She was a great teacher, friend, and overall person, and she will be missed indeed.

-Logan Brooks, WRHS class of 2015 and friend

Amanda Davis

Posted at 01:08pm
I loved Mrs. O'Donnell's class -- her dry sense of humor made learning about a daunting topic so much more enjoyable.

She will be remembered fondly by so many of us lucky enough to have been her students.

Cathy Grady

Posted at 12:42pm
Mary WAS a true lover of history! My own teaching benefited from her wealth of knowledge, which she shared generously. I was also very impressed with her skills in using ebay to purchase some very cool primary sources that enriched the entire department. Her snarky sense of humor and her special lessons on camels will never be forgotten! I am sorry for your loss!
Cathy Grady, WRHS Guidance


Lara Fury Posted at 01:37pm

She was truly an extraordinary educator and though she taught history I found that her lessons always spoke to the future. I speak for myself and I hope many of my fellow classmates in saying that she changed my perspective on the world for the better. We need more people like her in our lives. My deepest condolences to her family. WRHS Class of 2001

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