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1410 E Bowman Ave.
Las Cruces, NM 88001-3001
Phone: (575) 526-2419
Fax: (575) 526-7944
Kenneth O'Donnell
In Memory of
Kenneth Claude
O'Donnell
1962 - 2020
Memorial Candle Tribute From
Getz Funeral Home
"We are honored to provide this Book of Memories to the family."
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Obituary for Kenneth Claude O'Donnell

Kenneth Claude  O'Donnell
In the presence of family, Kenny O'Donnell passed away peacefully Wednesday, May 20 in Las Cruces after battling cancer. He was 57.
He was born Kenneth Claude O'Donnell in 1962 in Silver City, New Mexico. He was the fifth child of Charles and Louise O'Donnell, who lived near Cliff, N.M., at the time.
The family moved to Las Cruces in 1965, settling into a neighborhood that was home to many other children. There, Kenny immersed himself in a childhood of baseball, kick-the-can, dirt-clod wars and other adventurous fun with his siblings and friends.
Kenny attended Alameda Elementary, Alameda Junior High and Mayfield High School. He was known for his sharp mind, and he graduated high school early, thanks to having taken advanced coursework.
Throughout his childhood, he cultivated a love for the outdoors, fostered by the family's frequent fishing and camping trips to the scenic Uncompaghre and Gunnison National Forests in southwest Colorado.
Kenny attended New Mexico State University, where he majored in agronomy with an emphasis in turfgrass management, earning a bachelor's of science degree from the College of Agriculture in June 1984.
About the same time he was in college, his 10 nieces and nephews began arriving on the scene. Kenny made a name for himself as the always-fun uncle, who -- standing at 6-foot, 4-inches -- could single-handedly twirl kids by their ankles in merry-go-round-like fashion, all for their boundless entertainment.
After college, he worked stints in Albuquerque and Hobbs. Then, Kenny enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he achieved the rank of sergeant. He was stationed in Germany for part of his enlistment and had the opportunity during his free time to travel to a number of European countries. He saw many of the sights, including the Vatican, the Tower of Pisa and many castles to which he hoped to have return visits later in life. He was honorably discharged after a four-year tour, but, later, he would be recalled to serve in Operation Desert Storm.
After first leaving the Army, he began a career with Cargill, working in beef plants in Plainview, Texas; Schuyler, Nebraska; Sterling, Colorado; and Fort Morgan, Colorado. He worked for years as a supervisor. In more recent years, Kenny switched careers and began work for BNSF as a train conductor. He was based at different times in Sterling, Colorado; McCook, Nebraska; and Winslow, Arizona.
In addition to his love for the outdoors, Kenny was a history enthusiast and very much liked reading books and watching documentaries on the subject. He always enjoyed intellectual discussions on a variety of topics. His Christian faith was an important part of his life.
Soon after his diagnosis in August 2019, Kenny moved back to Las Cruces to be closer to family and to undergo treatment. Despite a valiant fight, he succumbed to the disease. He will be dearly missed by many.
He is preceded in death by his father, Charles E. O'Donnell; his nephew, Sean O'Donnell; his paternal grandparents, Marie and William O'Donnell; and his maternal grandparents, Ethel and Roy White, and his long-time canine buddy Guy.
He is survived by his mother, Louise O'Donnell and siblings Sarah Chabot (Mike); Mike O'Donnell (Samantha); Kathy Alba (Daniel); and Scott O’Donnell (Janet), as well as many nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews.
A virtual memorial service will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 30 on Zoom. All who knew Kenny are invited to attend. Request an e-invitation by emailing: kodmemorial@outlook.com
Kenny's family would like to extend its gratitude to all of the healthcare personnel who cared for Kenny, especially those at Mesilla Valley Hospice and La Posada Assisted Living.
If so inclined, donations can be made to Compassion International or Mesilla Valley Hospice on Kenny's behalf.

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