Sunday, November 28, 2021


David O’Donnell


David O’Donnell, 56, of Westbrook passed away suddenly on Aug. 5.

Convention would have us sum up Dave’s life in a few tidy paragraphs about his education, his career, and those he left behind. David, however, was anything but conventional.

He heard his own drummer early on and never marched to any other beat.

From KISS concerts during his high school days at Valley Regional to club bands while attending The Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale, the events in Dave’s life were carried along by an incredible soundtrack. Upon graduation, David returned home to Connecticut and immersed himself in music. For more than 30 years, he has been a fixture on the Connecticut music scene. His passion for music was all consuming. Over the years he played, sang, laughed, and made incredible friends through bands X-SPEX, Rock Monsters, St. Ink Finger, Backwoods Zydeco, and Bokum Road and as a cast member of the Ask Dr. Hal Show.

In addition to performing with his various beloved bands, David could be seen in solo gigs, running sound for others, emceeing open mic nights and serving as an armchair music historian to anyone within hearing distance.

His larger-than-life presence will be missed by so many but especially by his family, both biological and without paperwork.

As proud as Dave was of his music, his role as Uncle Dave may have been his brightest shining moment. He deeply loved his nieces and nephews Lauren Kingston and fiancé Tobias Breuer; Annie Kingston and fiancé Steven Schneider; Charles O’Donnell and fiancée Ashley Winward; Colin O’Donnell; Catherine O’Donnell; Evan, Ethan, Eli, and Emery Homon; Casey Mather; Barbara Mather and partner Joseph Phillips; Daniel Mather and his wife Sydney; and Eric and Marcus Eichman and great-nieces Cassondra Phillips and Hannah Mather.

David also leaves his parents, Charles and Sabra “Sam” O’Donnell of Centerbrook; siblings C. Thomas O’Donnell and his wife Melissa of Ware, Massachusetts, Verna O’Donnell of Deep River, Mary-Jo Wirtanen and her husband Robert of Essex, Janet Chapman and her partner Keith Murphey of Durham, and Jason Eichman and his wife Shannon of Montville; uncle John E. O’Donnell of Auburn, Maine; and many cousins as well as his work family at McDonald, Sharpe & Associates, his Monday night card game family, and his Westbrook housemates.

The entire O’Donnell family is deeply grateful for the love and support extended by so many. Please join us for a celebration of David’s life from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 17, at Clark Memorial Field (Fireman’s Field), 210 Elm Street, Old Saybrook.

Anyone wishing to share photos, audio clips, video clips or participate in the open mic portion of the celebration should contact us at

To share a memory of Dave or send a condolence to his family, please visit Arrangements are in the care of the Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home in Centerbrook.

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