Michael F. O’Daniel, Sr.
April 14, 1940 – March 11, 2020
Michael F. O’Daniel, born in Evansville, IN to Bernard and Elizabeth O’Daniel, was the second oldest of six children. Siblings included Kate, Tim, Maureen, Kevyne, and Colleen. Mike spent his childhood and school years in Evansville where he was involved in Boy Scouts and played basketball. Exploring a call to religious life, he attended Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology in St. Meinrad, IN for two years. He graduated from Reitz Memorial High School in Evansville, IN in 1958.
In 1958, at the age of 18, Mike’s family moved to Omaha, NE to purchase an Oldsmobile dealership in downtown Omaha that later became O’Daniel Oldsmobile. The dealership then moved to the site we know today at 78th and Dodge and became O’Daniel Motor Center, followed by the current O’Daniel Honda.
Mike was in the Army Reserves for 6 years, attended Marquette University for a year, then transferred to Creighton University in Omaha, NE where he was a member of the Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity and earned a B.S. in Business Administration. Through the years Mike’s role in the family business increased, and he became more involved in the auto dealership industry serving as President of the Nebraska New Car Dealers Association for a term. Upon his father Bernard’s retirement, he purchased the dealership and ran it until his retirement. He was an astute businessman and enjoyed getting to know his employees and helping them out in difficult times. His two sons Matt and Mike Jr. now own and operate O’Daniel Honda continuing the family legacy.
Mike met the love of his life, Barb Heimrod, at an Aksarben Ball event and they married in 1966 after a short courtship and many travels to and from Kansas City where Barb was attending Kansas University in Lawrence. During their courtship, they loved to socialize and enjoy the Kansas City nightlife, The Plaza, and Westport. Mike and Barb have been married for 54 years.
Mike was a dedicated family man to Barb and their four children: Mike Jr., Helen, Matt and Aloise “Loycee” and his seven grandchildren. He was a loving man of strong will and values, quick wit, many hobbies and even more stories! Over the years his hobbies included owning race horses, hunting, fishing, owning and showing Quarter horses, listening to country, bluegrass and blues music, photography, ham radio, home brewing, gardening, western and Indian art, story and joke telling, boating, and lake life in Lake of the Ozarks with his kids and grandkids.
Mike loved supporting his wife and kids in their interests, activities, hopes and dreams. As a family member, if you expressed an interest in something – he went beyond to make it happen and happen big! Throughout the progression of Alzheimer’s, Mike maintained a gentle spirit, big sense of humor, quick wit and storytelling.
To our hero: the best Husband, Father and Grandfather/Papa anyone could ever ask for, rest in peace – you have earned it! From the bottom of our hearts, thank you, we will miss you and will carry the memories of you forever in us! We love you!
Survived by wife, Barbara J.; children: Michael F. O’Daniel, Jr. (Amy), Helen Reese (Sean), Matthew B. O’Daniel (Stacy) and Aloise “Loycee” E. O’Daniel; seven grandchildren; and sisters: Maureen Mangan (Don), Kevyne O’Daniel and Colleen Flanders.
Family will receive friends Monday, March 16th from 5pm to 7pm, at the West Center Chapel. The VIGIL SERVICE has been canceled. PRIVATE FAMILY MASS. MEMORIAL MASS to be announced at a later date. INTERMENT: Mt. Calvary Cemetery-Elkhorn, NE. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Alzheimer’s Association.
The above link a video recording of the funeral mass that was Wednesday Morning.