Daniel Gene O’Donnell, of Waxahachie, passed away May 13, 2020.
He was born in Waco, TX on September 11, 1929. He grew up in Waxahachie, attended public schools, and played defensive end for the Waxahachie Indian Football team. Gene graduated from Waxahachie High School in 1948. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from North Texas State University in 1952 and joined Tyler Refrigeration Corporation as chief accountant. In 1953, Gene married Winnie Gibson of Rising Star, TX.
He was a member of the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce, a charter member of the Waxahachie Jaycees, and a past member of the Rotary Club. In 1969, he moved to Niles, Michigan where he was promoted Division Controller and Chief Financial Officer for Tyler. In 1980, Gene relocated back to Waxahachie as Vice President General Manager of Tyler Refrigeration’s Waxahachie Plant. He retired from Tyler in 1995.
Gene served in leadership positions for many civic and business organizations. During his time in Niles, he served as Vice-President of the Greater Niles Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Board of Directors for First National Bank of Southwestern Michigan, President of the Tyler Junior Achievement Company, and a member of the Niles Airport Board. In Waxahachie, he served 3 years on the Waxahachie Foundation board and 1 year as President. Gene was elected to the city council for 3 terms and served as Mayor of Waxahachie from 1982-84. He served on the Board of Directors of Citizens National Bank of Texas from 1981 to present. Gene received the Who’s Who Award from the Waxahachie Ex-Students’ Association. He served as director of the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce and in 1987 was named Waxahachie Outstanding Citizen of the Year along with his wife, Winnie.
Gene loved fishing, golf, watching high school football and talking history, especially WWII and fighter planes. He valued and cherished his relationships with his colleagues at Tyler Refrigeration and CNB Texas. But most of all, he enjoyed the time spent with family.
He is preceded in death by his parents Daniel Anthony & Bess O’Donnell and grandson, Mathew Dorsey.
Gene is survived by his wife of 67 years, Winnie O’Donnell; daughter Donna Dorsey, son Patrick O’Donnell and wife Debbie of Waxahachie; and grandchildren Bryan Patrick Dorsey and Elizabeth Frances Dorsey of Dallas, Allison Taylor O’Donnell and Katherine Grace O’Donnell of Waxahachie.
Services to celebrate his life will be 2:00 PM , Monday, May 18, 2020 graveside services at the Waxahachie City Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the organization of your choice or the Ellis County Museum, Nicholas P. Sims, or Central Presbyterian Church.