O’Donnell, Laverne Joseph
March 30, 1929-November 11, 2022
Laverne Joseph O’Donnell was the youngest child and son of the late William and Rose O’Donnell. He was born and raised on the family farm in Drayton until he married his wife, Theresa Brown. Laverne and Theresa raised their family in Kitchener and their 67-year marriage is a model for their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. Dad gave our family the greatest gift, he truly loved his wife.
Laverne lived life on his terms. He taught his seven daughters, Mary Anne Moser (Brian), Margaret Wade, Rose Tremblay (Levis), Kathryn Stauffer (Timothy), Monica Kuzyk (John), Shirley Speakman (Greg) and Susan Coulter (Jeff), to be strong, to speak up when something is wrong, to form opinions, take positions, ask questions, and never let anyone determine our worth. As he walked each of us down the aisle, his voice would whisper, “it’s not too late, we can turn around and get back in the car.” He held our hand tight, reluctantly placing our hands into another’s.
Laverne was both confidante and accomplice to his 12 grandchildren, Kimberly Moser, Heather Leveille (Christian), Greg Moser (Jen), Tom Wade (Carly), Elizabeth Kuzyk (Adam), Peter Kuzyk (Paige), Emilie and Eric Tremblay, Benjamin (Sara) and Madeline Stauffer, Luke and Nicole Watson (Brandon), never losing an opportunity to start the day with chocolate cake before they headed outside to ride the lawn tractor. Papa replaced many windows broken by baseballs and footballs, never sharing that detail with parents. On hot summer days he made sure the sprinkler was out on the lawn at the Schoolhouse and corn was cooking in the fire pit. Papa loved having his family close, never wanting the Sunday celebrations to end.
While his illness began to fade his memory and make visits more difficult, Laverne shared smiles, hugs, and “jigs” with his great grandchildren. Jakob Leveille, Brady and Brooks Moser, Noah and Nathan Wade, Tessa Watson and Laurie and Alexis Tremblay, you are Papa’s legacy. He lives on in every act of kindness you give, in every prayer you say, and with every family dinner we celebrate.
Laverne was a spiritual man. He was comforted by prayer and each day said the rosary. These prayers were for his family, for his sisters’ families and the Brown family. He took comfort in the repetition of the prayers, the feel of the beads in his hand, knowing he would never forget how to say Hail Mary or Our Father. His prayers requested protection of his family and grace to endure the journey he faced. We honour our Dad each time we reach for the rosary in our pocket.
Laverne was predeceased by his sisters Leona Daly (John), Genevieve Noonan (Robert), Blanche Steffler (Elmer), Rose Norris (Frank), Helen O’Donnell in infancy and his in-laws Edward and Bertha Brown, Mary Kensy (Edward), Betty Heffernan (Ernie), Rose O’Donnell (Jim) and Gerald and James Brown.
He is survived by his loving wife Theresa, sister-in-law Leona Brown (James) and remembered by numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Henry Walser Funeral Home, 507 Frederick Street, Kitchener (519-749-8467). A Mass celebrating Laverne’s life will be held on November 22, 2022 at 10:30 am at St Teresa Catholic Church, 44 Leonard St. Kitchener, Ontario with internment and reception to follow at Memory Gardens 2723 Victoria Street North Kitchener (Breslau), Ontario. Our family wishes to thank all those who cared for our father in his final years. His was a long goodbye filled with tears and smiles. We remain forever grateful.
As expressions of sympathy, donations to the St Teresa Building Fund would be appreciated by the family (cards available at the funeral home). Donations can also be made directly by contacting the parish office at (519) 743-4525.