John O'Dea

Obituary of John S. O'Dea

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Age 75 passed away very unexpectedly on Monday, May 20, 2024.  Jack was the middle of five children born to the late James L. and Marion L. Shearer O’Dea.  In addition to his parents, Jack was predeceased by his brother Kevin J. O’Dea.  He is survived by his loving daughter and son-in-law, Marnie and John Malone of Elmira; his adoring granddaughters, Delaney and McKenna Malone; siblings, Colleen Molloy of Chevy Chase, MD, Larry O’Dea of Sun City, AZ, and Molly O’Dea of Atlanta, GA; eight nieces and nephews, and several grandnieces, and grandnephews.  Jack leaves behind numerous close friends, both in Massachusetts and Elmira.      

 Jack was born and raised in Elmira, NY.  He was a 1967 graduate of Elmira Free Academy.  He graduated from Hargrave Military Academy in 1968 in Chatham, VA and graduated from Niagara University in 1972.  He worked for the Elmira Water Board the summer of the ’72 flood.  Jack had an extremely successful career in sales working for Corning Glass and Hoshizaki Ice Machines. Post retirement, Jack continued to pursue his passion in the restaurant industry selling dining ware and attending conventions. He won many prestigious sales awards over the course of his career.

Jack loved to travel and explore new places.  He visited 48 states and traveled internationally to several countries, including two trips to Ireland.  Jack was planning to visit Iceland and Antarctica. The wonderful experiences from his travels led him to be quite the storyteller.  His storytelling was unparalleled.  He was a dedicated New England Patriots fan along with all other Boston sports teams. Jack could recall any date, person, statistic, or fact from geography to sports.

Jack was a devout Irish Catholic who attended Mass at St. Patrick’s regularly. Jack generously shared his love and knowledge for the Catholic Church with his entire family. He was a supporting member of the Elmira Country Club. The game of golf was Jack’s passion. He often loved to compete in tournaments, but also enjoyed a casual day on the course with all his “buddies”.  While living in Massachusetts, he was a member of Highfields Country Club.  At one time, Jack was an avid runner and finished both the Boston and New York City Marathons.

Along with his extensively successful career, Jack’s greatest achievement was being a devoted, caring, and involved father and grandfather.  He moved back to Elmira in 2021 after living in Grafton, Massachusetts for 20 years. You could always find Jack supporting his granddaughters at athletic contests or school events.  Any conversation anyone had with him, he always centered it on his daughter and granddaughters. They were his pride and joy. He shared all their accomplishments with everyone he would talk to.  You may not have known them by face, but you knew them by name.  

Jack was always a gentleman who practiced chivalrous manners and held traditional values.  He had the strongest handshake.  Each individual he met described him as a kind, thoughtful person who made you feel as if you were the only person in the room.  He was a great listener and took a genuine interest in learning about the lives of others. He was polite, generous, and treated every person with ultimate kindness. Jack was charismatic and always looked for the positive in any given situation.

Jack’s final generous contribution to others came in the donation of his tissue and organs to the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network. 

 Family and friends are invited to McInerny Funeral Home, 502 West Water St, Elmira, on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Patrick’s Church, 604 Park Place, Elmira, on Wednesday, May 29, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. The Mass will be livestreamed at Committal prayers and interment will follow at St. Peter & Paul’s Cemetery.  Those wishing may remember Jack with a donation to the Catholic Charities of Chemung County, 215 E. Church Street, Suite 100, Elmira NY 14901 or to the FOREVER2SIX fund through the Elmira Community Foundation at    



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Calling Hours

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Tuesday, May 28, 2024
McInerny Funeral Home
502 West Water Street
Elmira, New York, United States
(607) 733-6271

Mass of Christian Burial

11:00 am - 12:30 am
Wednesday, May 29, 2024
St. Patrick's Church
604 Park
Palce Elmira, New York, United States


12:45 pm - 1:00 pm
Wednesday, May 29, 2024
St. Peter & Paul's Cemetery
623 Franklin Street
Elmira, New York, United States
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John O'Dea

In Loving Memory

John O'Dea

1949 - 2024

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