Former recreation commissioner dies at 81Charles O'Donnell, a former chairman of the Menlo Park Recreation Commission and manager at Draeger's Supermarket, died Sept. 10 of stomach cancer at his Sebastopol ranch. He was 81.
Mr. O'Donnell was born in San Francisco and attended Salesian High School. After high school he enlisted in the Marines. When he returned from military service, he took a job at Grant Market in San Francisco, where he met his future wife, Joan. After they were married, they moved to South San Francisco.
In 1963, Mr. O'Donnell accepted a manager's position at Draeger's Supermarket and moved to Menlo Park. Both Charles and Joan coached at St. Raymond School, where she was P.E. teacher and he became athletic director and eighth-grade basketball coach. He also served as chairman of the Menlo Park Recreation Commission and refereed both high school and college basketball games.
In 1987, Mr. O'Donnell accepted an offer to manage the Tides Resort in Bodega Bay. The couple moved to their horse ranch in Sebastopol, where they raised and showed Tennessee Walkers. While working at the Tides, he became a local radio personality, known as "Captain Charlie." After retirement, he volunteered as a CYO basketball coach.
Mr. O'Donnell is survived by his son, Matthew; step-daughter Ann Leishman; three grandsons; one step granddaughter; and step-great-granddaughter. His wife, Joan, died in September 2011.
Donations in his memory may be made to the Ceres Community Project of Sebastopol.