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John Clark ‘Jack’ O’Donnell

A private family funeral liturgy for the late John Clark ‘Jack’ O’Donnell, CM, MMus Ed, MMus, DLitt, LLD, 83, Antigonish, will be held with burial taking place at a later date in St Mary’s Cemetery, Kings ’s Cove, Bonavista Bay, Newfoundland. 
Mr.
A private family funeral liturgy for the late John Clark ‘Jack’ O’Donnell, CM, MMus Ed, MMus, DLitt, LLD, 83, Antigonish, will be held with burial taking place at a later date in St Mary’s Cemetery, Kings ’s Cove, Bonavista Bay, Newfoundland. Mr. O’Donnell died October 25, 2018, in the Palliative Care Unit of St. Martha’s Regional Hospital, Antigonish. Born in Portland, Maine, he was a son of the late John Clark and Lillian Louise (Fowler) O’Donnell. He was professor emeritus and former chair of the Department of Music at his alma mater, St Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, where he worked for 40 years. He held graduate degrees in music education (Gonzaga University, Spokane, Washington, USA), and in musicology (University of London, Kings College, UK). He also served for 50 years as conductor and musical director of the well-known Cape Breton coal miners’ choir, The Men of the Deeps. In 1983, he was awarded the Order of Canada for his work with The Men of the Deeps, and for playing a key role with his wife, Judy, in helping to establish L’Arche in Antigonish. In 1993, he received the degree of Doctor of Letters (DLitt) Honoris Causa from Cape Breton University. His work with The Men of the Deeps was again recognized in 2013, when Cape Breton University’s Beaton Institute presented him with the inaugural Katharine McLennan Award; in 2015, when he was recognized by the East Coast Music Association with the Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award; and in 2016, when he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree (LLD) from St. Francis Xavier University. He was a highly gifted musician, composer, arranger, and director, an excellent teacher, accomplished author, dedicated member of the Antigonish community, and an expert martini-maker. He had a wonderful sense of humour, a humble spirit, a generous heart, and a love for “whatsoever things are true.” (Philippians 4:8) As a man of deep faith, he found inspiration in a broad range of spiritualities, but was particularly inspired by the inclusive spirituality of Celtic Christianity. He also shared his musical and other gifts generously over the years with numerous faith communities, including the communities at St. Ninian Cathedral Parish in Antigonish, the Chapel at St.F.X. University, the Sisters of St. Martha at Bethany, the Spiritual Life Institute of America at Nova Nada in Nova Scotia, at Holy Hill in Ireland, at L’Arche in Antigonish and around the world. He is survived by his wife of more than 57 years, Judith; two sons, John (Nancy LaRose), Cole Harbour; Christopher (Carrie Redpath), Prospect Bay, N.S.; daughter, Lynn (Wayne Johnson), Malignant Cove; seven grandchildren, Bridget, Clara, Ella, Kathryn, Annie, Fiona, Jessica; sister, Pat (John Roberts), South Portland, Maine; four nieces, Suzan, Sharon, Carol, Julie; two nephews, David, Brion. He was predeceased by brother, Richard (Alice); nephew, Robert; great-nephew, John Terrence ‘J.T.’ Memorial donations may be made to the St. Martha’s Regional Hospital Foundation or to the Victorian Order of Nurses. Online condolences: www.clcurry.com

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