Cover photo for Rose Anne O'Donnell's Obituary
Rose Anne O'Donnell Profile Photo
1934 Rose Anne 2024

Rose Anne O'Donnell

December 21, 1934 — May 23, 2024

Dover

Rose Anne O’Donnell died on Thursday evening, May 23, 2024 at Park Village Health Care Center in Dover, Ohio. She was 89 years old.

Rose Anne lived a life defined by many loves—for her family, for her community, for her Catholic parish, for residents of the family’s nursing home, for the natural world, and for God. Love flowed freely from her heart and was a source of great joy and comfort, both for herself and for those lucky enough to have her in their lives.   

The daughter of Edward and Frances Eiler Karl, Rose Anne was born in Dover on December 21, 1934. Having been raised on a family farm with her two brothers (John and Edward Karl), she enjoyed communing with nature and was often found climbing trees and running barefoot on dirt roads and grassy hills. As a young girl, she attended a one-room schoolhouse at Brandywine. Thereafter, she attended and graduated in 1952 from St. Joseph High School. Following in the footsteps of her mother, Rose Anne chose nursing as her vocation and lifelong career. She graduated from Saint John’s Hospital School of Nursing in Cleveland in September 1955. Less than a month later, on October 8, 1955, she married the love of her life, Robert G (Bob) O'Donnell, a Cleveland native, at St. Joseph Church in Dover. She was preceded in death by her husband Bob in 1991.

Soon after their marriage, the young couple returned to the family farm where Rose Anne was raised, building a small ranch house on a hill, next to her childhood home and to the homes of her two brothers, overlooking the Sugar Creek River and cornfields below. With her husband, Rose Anne raised a family of six children. She instilled a love of nature, a devotion to family, and deep spirituality in each of her children, whom she would regularly take hiking on the farm to discover small creeks, native flowers, and wildlife. To her, evidence of the divine could be found in every living creature; she would often remark on the wondrous beauty of the natural world.

In addition to raising a family of six, Rose Anne worked at Park Village for 66 years, from 1952 to 2018, starting as a nurse aide in 1952 at Karl Nursing Home (a facility established by her mother, Frances), and then from 1955 on as an RN. She also received her Nursing Home Administrator license from the State of Ohio in 1970. Rose Anne and her husband purchased Karl Nursing Home in 1964 when they changed the company name to Dover Nursing Center. The name was changed again, to Park Village Health Care Center, in 1978, when they built the existing facility on Crater Avenue in Dover.

As a nurse and administrator, Rose Anne devoted herself to the vocation of ministering to the elderly. She had a special gift for putting people at ease, and was a consummate conversationalist, always inquiring about the well-being and goings on of others. She strove to make others feel at home. After she retired from nursing and administration, she continued on a weekly basis to attend to the residents at Park Village, ensuring their comfort, bringing a radiant smile, a quiet patience, and a compassionate ear. She prided herself on knowing every resident—and often their families—by name. She left an indelible mark on thousands of residents and generations of families over the course of the nearly seven decades of her career.

Born with an insatiable curiosity and adventurous spirit, Rose Anne relished traveling. With her husband Bob, she toured nearly every state in the United States by car and camper. After her husband’s passing, she became passionate about birding, traveling the U.S. and visiting several continents in pursuit of “lifers” (new bird species encountered for the first time). Hoping to encourage others to enjoy the outdoors, she became a volunteer and avid supporter of the Wilderness Center in Wilmot, Ohio, where she treasured time with her grandchildren, bestowing in them a lasting love of nature and a sense of stewardship.

Rose Anne was a lifelong member of St. Joseph Church, where she was a past officer and member of the Secular Franciscans, an order established by St. Francis of Assisi over 800 years ago. She was the fraternity’s Family and Ecology Apostolate. She also volunteered at Birthright of New Philadelphia. With an abiding belief in the dignity of life, she supported vulnerable, immigrant families in the community and worked at the church’s soup kitchen. Rose Anne attended daily mass, weekly rosary, and participated in community “prayer lines,” praying for local individuals who were sick, at the end of life, or otherwise in need. She also took great solace in contemplative prayer. In Rose Anne’s final hours, as she passed away in peace, her children read the stations of the cross aloud from her original 1959 Franciscan Daily Companion prayer book.    

In addition to her husband Bob, Rose Anne was predeceased by her brother John Karl.

She is survived by her children Robert (Katherine) O’Donnell, Kathy (Steve) Hagarman, Mary Anne O’Donnell (John Wojcicki), Patty (Mark) Limbaugh, Tom (Lynn) O’Donnell, and Beth (Damon) Linker, as well as grandchildren Jon O’Donnell, Erin Byers, Theresa Rolf, Ted Hagarman, Sheyla O’Donnell, Anna O’Donnell, Gordon Limbaugh, Dillon Limbaugh, Conner Limbaugh, Ben O’Donnell, Jay O’Donnell, Emma O’Donnell, Paul O’Donnell, Meg O’Donnell, Mark Linker, and Katie Linker, and 6 great-grandchildren.  She is also survived by her brother Edward Karl.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, May 29th starting at 10:30 am in the St. Joseph Catholic Church with Fr. Jimmy Hatfield officiating.  Interment will be at the Calvary Cemetery, Dover.  The family will be greeting friends in the Toland-Herzig Funeral Home and Crematory at Dover on Tuesday from 2:00 to 4:00 and 6:00 to 8:00 pm with Rosary services starting at 7:45 pm.

Memorial contributions can be made to St. Joseph Church at 613 North Tuscarawas Ave., Dover, Ohio 44622, or Birthright of New Philadelphia at 1159 12th St. NW, New Philadelphia, Ohio 44663.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Rose Anne O'Donnell, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

Toland-Herzig Funeral Home- Dover

803 N Wooster Ave, Dover, OH 44622

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Visitation

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Toland-Herzig Funeral Home- Dover

803 N Wooster Ave, Dover, OH 44622

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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