Fern Elizabeth O’Donnell

PORTAGE – Fern Elizabeth O’Donnell, age 97, passed away with family by her side on Monday, February 20, 2017, at Hamilton Park Place in Portage.

Fern was born on June 18, 1919, in Portage, the daughter of Louis August William and “Lottie” Charlotte (Weidling) Kleist. Lottie subsequently was married to Joseph Moulton. Fern graduated from Portage High School and then married Henry J. O’Donnell on August 20, 1938 in Hammond, WI. She enjoyed raising her large family of 11 and had many domestic talents. She enjoyed collecting articles on the history of Portage and she had quite an array of scrap books and photo albums. Fern sold wedding invitations for Carlson Craft Co. for several years and was also a personal caretaker. She was a member of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Portage.

She is survived by her children: Patricia Janes of Newport Beach, CA; Harold O’Donnell of Westminster, CA; Raymond (Mary) O’Donnell of Portage, WI; Richard (Jean) O’Donnell of Belvidere, IL; Charlotte Viens of Portage, WI; William O’Donnell of Portage, WI; Daniel O’Donnell of Portage, WI; Mary O’Donnell (Mike Davis) of Marquette, MI; Margaret (Robert) Strycharske of Oregon, WI; John O’Donnell of Portage, WI; 17 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren, a great-great-grandchild; many other relatives and close friends. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Henry J. O’Donnell; daughter, Rose Marie Barkan Petersen; brother, Donald Kleist; sister, Adeline Langloss; twin grandsons, Peter and John Janes; grandson, Neal Petersen; son-in-law, Leonard Barkan; son-in-law, Roger Viens and daughter-in-law, Suzanne O’Donnell.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, February 25, 2017, with Fr. Gary Krahenbuhl presiding. Burial will be at St. Mary Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will be at Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home in Portage on Friday, February 24, from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. and at the church on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Agrace Hospice, 5395 E. Cheryl Parkway, Madison, WI 53711, in memory of Fern E. O’Donnell.

The family would like to thank the staff of Hamilton Park Place in Portage and Agrace Hospice for the wonderful care they gave to our mother, Fern.

Pflanz Mantey Mendrala Funeral Home is assisting the family.

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Contact the Family

For information please call 608 742-2126 (Portage, WI) or 608 635-2763 (Poynette, WI)