HOULTON – Barbara McClay O’Donnell, 82, passed away Sept. 28, 2013. Mrs. O’Donnell was born Sept. 20, 1931, to Theodore McClay and Edna (Deveau) McClay in Fort Fairfield.
Barbara graduated from Houlton High School in 1950 and soon became a full time mother. After raising her children, she returned to school at the University of Maine, Presque Isle, receiving her Associate’s Degree in 1985 and then completed her Bachelor’s Degree in 1988. Barbara was a 4-H leader for 18 years for the Think and Do 4-H Club and was a member of the Council for Catholic Women for many years. She also served on the board at the Aroostook County Historical and Art Museum. She was an avid flower gardener. There were always beautiful flowerbeds bordering the house and yard. She also was an excellent seamstress, making a lot of her own and her children’s clothing, and teaching all of her daughters how to sew. She was especially proud that she hand-made each of her four daughter’s wedding gowns. She was very creative and learned to paint, making many lovely watercolor landscapes. She loved the annual “ladies weekends” in Boston and Montreal with her daughters and granddaughters. She and Francis enjoyed travelling, visiting Williamsburg, Va., New York City, Disneyworld and Ireland. She was very interested in her family’s genealogy and created several albums of McClay and O’Donnell genealogy. In later years, she looked forward to Monday card games with her friends and spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She is survived by her seven children, Mary and Ritchie Guilford, Marguerite and Timothy Cowan, Timothy and Sharon O’Donnell, Michael and Marcia O’Donnell, Jean and Martin Goldsmith, Douglas and Tammy O’Donnell and Jane and Mark Hutchinson. She had 18 grandchildren; and 23 great-grandchildren at the time of her death. In addition, she is survived by her sister, Evangeline Perona of Fairport Harbor, Ohio. She was predeceased by her husband of 60 years, Francis O’Donnell; and her sister, Priscilla Farrar.
Friends may call 6-8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, at Bowers Funeral Home, 10 Water St., Houlton. A Mass of Christian burial will be 11 a.m. Saturday, at St. Mary’s of the Visitation, Houlton, with Father Dave Raymond celebrant. Interment will be noon Thursday, Oct. 10, at the Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Augusta. In lieu of flowers, donations in Barbara’s name may be made to St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 110 Military St., Houlton, ME 04730; or Madigan Estates Activity Fund, 93 Military St., Houlton, ME 04730. The family would like to thank the staff at Madigan Estates, Madigan Home Health Care and Westgate Manor for the tremendous care and support they provided during her illness. For an online memory book and to leave condolences please visit www.bowersfuneral.com.