Thomas Edward O’Donnell, 85, of Thorndale, PA, passed away on Sunday, March 3, 2019.
Thomas was born in Philadelphia in 1933. He was a graduate of Roman Catholic High School, and played football for four years. He received a scholarship to Temple University where he played on the offensive and defensive lines for two seasons. Following Temple University, Thomas enlisted in the US Army, and served for four honorable years. For 20 years, Thomas worked as an Engineer Technician at the Frankford Arsenal in Philadelphia, and the Navy Yard for 13 years.
Away from work Thomas became a coach for several football teams including Bishop McDermott High School, the Stenton Park Falcons, and the CYO Organization for Our Lady of the Calvary. He also loved going to games; on Fridays he would see a local high school game and on Saturdays he was a Temple season ticket holder.
Thomas had a strong attraction to trains and trolley cars, which led to his beloved model railroading hobby. He put his engineering skills to good use as he enjoyed designing and wiring "modules", and he always looked forward to meeting up with fellow model railroaders at meets and shows. He was a founding member of the Chelten Hills Model RR club, and as his focus moved to modeling trolleys he was an active member of the East Penn Traction Club.
In addition to his parents, Thomas is preceded in death by his late wife Ann O’Donnell, and two brothers; Joseph and John O’Donnell.
Thomas is survived by 4 step children; Jack (Teresa) Widhson, MaryAnn Renken (Robert), Robert (Linda) Widhson, and Joseph Widhson, 6 grandchildren; Allison Dean, Christine Sand, Elizabeth and Christopher Renken, Robert and Melissa Widhson, and 4 great grandchildren.
An evening viewing will be held on March 8, 2019, 6-8pm, at the James J. Terry Funeral Home, 736 E. Lancaster Avenue, Downingtown, PA 19335. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10am, on Saturday, March 9, at St. Joseph Church, 332 Manor Ave, Downingtown, PA 19335, where family and friends may visit from 9am-9:45am. Interment Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Cheltenham, PA.
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