Jeanette Marie O'Donnell
November 27, 1937 – September 7, 2021
Jeanette Marie (Lavoie) O'Donnell passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Tuesday, September 7, 2021 having battled cancer.
Born on November 27th, 1937 to Earl and Lorraine Lavoie in Los Angeles, CA, she attended Leuzinger High School and El Camino College where she was active in student government, and a member of the cheerleading squad.She met the love of her life when her brother Don introduced her to an architect friend, Joe, and it was a match made in heaven. Joe and Jeanette wed in the summer of 1964. They moved into a home designed and built by Joe in Manhattan Beach. Jeanette oversaw an "open door" policy for all their friends and family, and the door was never locked. Together they raised four sons and remained happily married for 50 years. The family is members of the American Martyrs Catholic Parish, and all the sons attended school there.
Her keen interest in fashion led to a career working for almost two decades at Nordstrom, and later at Fino boutique. She loved sharing her flair for drape, fit, and color with customers, many of whom became close friends. Always elegantly dressed, she exuded panache and style.
She fed her passion for travel over the years by working at Ships and Trips, J. Fire Travel, and later on, organizing numerous trips for senior citizens to various locations, locally and around the world. Jeanette loved to travel and experience diverse cultures. A suitcase was always ready to go, whether it be a weekend trip in California or trips internationally. Some of her favorite destinations included Mexico, Italy, Ireland, Quebec, as well as trips to visit her brother in France, Indonesia, and Thailand.
Once her kids had grown, Jeanette turned her attention to the art of painting which she pursued with a passion and was proud to have several works displayed at galleries and art shows, including winning several awards. Similar to her wardrobe, she loved color and the vibrancy in what she painted. She was dedicated to the institution of letter writing, and turned many of her paintings into greeting cards with affectionate notes and positive messages.
She believed in philanthropy and always looked for ways to give back including volunteering at Children's Hospital Thrift Shop, as a Neptunian organizing charity fashion shows, or knitting beanies for cancer patients. She always spent her time in these areas with love and compassion.
When not chasing after her sons and grandkids, she filled her time by practicing yoga, doing Zumba, taking art classes, and volunteering her time. Jeanette had a real gift for creating personal connections and made an effort to be present in so many people's lives. She would make a memorable impression on anyone she came in contact with, and positively improved more lives than she would realize. Her family and many friends were treasures she always cherished.
Jeanette is survived by her brother Don (Daniele), four sons, Sean (Davina), Quinn (Eloise), Matthew (Anait), and Brennan (Catherine), as well as five beloved grandchildren, Evan, Ryan, Finn, Emory and Arusiak. She will be deeply missed by her family and friends, and always remembered for a life well lived.
The Funeral Mass will be held in person on Friday, September 17, 2021 at 1:30pm at American Martyrs Church following all Covid protocols. The Funeral Mass will also be available via livestream at: https://www.americanmartyrs.org/livestream-funerals-Memorials/
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) https://www.chla.org.
Donations can also be sent to SBACHLA Thrift Shop - PO Box 3354, Redondo Beach, CA 90277.
Published by The Beach Reporter on Sep. 16, 2021.