QU director of alumni services remembered as 'a nice guy, good friend'

Bill O'Donnell
Posted: Feb. 1, 2013 10:56 am Updated: Feb. 22, 2013 3:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Ben Braun worked for the past 3 1/2 years for Bill O'Donnell in the alumni department at Quincy University and will remember three specific things about his former boss.

The first two dealt with O'Donnell's passion for QU and the Chicago White Sox.

"And," said Braun, "he was just ... a nice guy. He helped me a lot, both as a friend and a mentor."

O'Donnell, 61, a 1973 graduate of QU, died midday Wednesday in Chicago after a battle with cancer.

"Bill absolutely loved Quincy University and devoted a large part of his life to helping the school in any way he could," Braun said. "He was a big help to me, not only as my direct supervisor, but as a friend in life."

Visitation will be from 3 to 9 p.m. Sunday at St. Barnabus Church, 10134 S. Longwood Drive, Chicago. The funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. at the church. The Ewald-Barlock Funeral Home in Chicago is handling arrangements.

Mr. O'Donnell had served as the director of alumni services at QU since 2008. Before that, he served on the university board of trustees for three years. Mr. O'Donnell repeatedly said his professional affiliation with QU "was the best job in the world."

Before working at QU, Mr. O'Donnell worked as director of business development for Source 4 Marketing Solutions.

Mr. O'Donnell earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from QU and a master's degree in educational counseling from Western Illinois University.

"Bill was celebrating the 40th anniversary of his graduation from QU this year," Braun said.

Mr. O'Donnell and his wife, Maureen (Breakey), were married for 34 years and lived in Chicago. She is a 1976 graduate of QU. They have four adult children.