Richard P. O'Donnell

Richard P. O'Donnell

Richard P. O’Donnell, 87, passed away on Thursday, November 21, 2019 in Myrtle Beach, SC. 

He was a former senior analyst with the National Security Agency.  He was born on February 27, 1932 in Washington, DC and is the son of the late John J. and Anne Huntington O’Donnell.

Following three years of service in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he attended George Washington University and joined the NSA.  His agency career spanned three decades during the height of the Cold War period and included such varied assignments as serving two years on the staff of the Director of Central Intelligence, Senior Operations Office in the National Security Operations Center and Deputy Chief of the Office of International and Economic Affairs.  He retired from the NSA in 1987 after 34 years of federal service.  In the 1960s-70s, he was an award-winning playwright whose work was performed in professional regional and community theatre and several public radio and area television productions.  He was a member of the Dramatists Guild of America.

In retirement, he was a volunteer with the America Cancer Society and the Senior Connection of Montgomery County, Maryland.  He was a member of St. Jane Frances de Chantal Catholic Church where he was a Eucharistic Minister and served in their Pastoral Care Program at Suburban Hospital in Montgomery County, Maryland.  In 2015, he relocated to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina and has been a member of St. Andrew Catholic Church.

He was predeceased by his wife, Rosemarie O’Donnell; and brothers Ray O’Donnell, and Joe O’Donnell and wife Joanne.

He is survived by his daughters, Rosanne Grolman and husband Dave, and Kathleen McCormick and husband Tim; son, Christopher O’Donnell and wife Nicole; grandchildren, Colleen, Christina, Meghan, and Sean; a great-granddaughter, Agnes; and many nieces and nephews. 

The family will receive friends at McMillan-Small Funeral Home on Monday, November 25, 2019 from 5:00-7:00 pm.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be at St. Andrew Catholic Church on Tuesday, November 26, 2019 at 11:00 am.  A graveside service will be at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Silver Spring, MD on Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 10:30 am.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Renovation Fund or the School Scholarship Fund at St. Andrew Catholic Church, 3501 N. Kings Hwy., Ste. 102., Myrtle Beach, SC 29577.

Please see the online guestbook at the tab above.

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Bill Jones
Davidsonville, MD
Created On: 03/27/2020 11:05:23

I was a neighbor in Southeast DC in the 40's and 50's. He was always friendly to us younger neighbors. I well remember Rosemarie also. His memory remains, but he will be missed.

Donna cislak
Myrtle Beach
Created On: 11/25/2019 01:34:41

My heartfelt sympathy to Roseann and Kathleen and your families. Mr O’Donnell was such a devout and special man who was always smiling and kind to everyone he came in contact with. He added sunshine to our day. He will be missed but I know he is with his Lord.