January 10, 2021
Former Broomfield and Colorado Springs resident Claudette A. O'Donnell passed away unexpectedly at her home on January 10, 2021.
Claudette Ann O'Donnell was born on September 13, 1935 in Waterloo, Iowa to Claude and Hildegard Cranford. At age 6, she moved to Enid, Oklahoma where she spent most of her childhood. At the age of 18, she went to college and started training to become a nurse. It was during this time Claudette met the love of her life, John Woods, "Woody" O'Donnell at her church. They became engaged and seven months later were united in marriage. Woody was a pilot with the United States Air Force and stationed in Munich, Germany at the time. Since Woody was unable to leave his post, Claudette flew to Germany to get married – twice. On April 15, 1956, they were married in the Munich Town hall by the Bergemeister (town mayor), which was the required way to get married in Germany. However, both being Catholics, they were married the next day, April 16, in the church with a large and more meaningful ceremony. After two years in Germany, they moved to France, where their first son, Steven, was born. After being stationed overseas, they moved to Vermont for two years and then to Syracuse, New York, where their second son, Robert, was born. After two years in Syracuse, they moved to Naples, Italy. This was Claudette's "favorite home" as an Air Force wife. They lived in an apartment which looked over the Bay of Naples, and one could see the active volcano, Mt. Vesuvius. The other side faced Ischia and Capri. While in Italy, they travelled to many cities including Rome. The Vatican was a very special place to them. Their travels also took them to Greece and Switzerland.
After three and a half years in Italy, they moved to Mobile, Alabama. This is where "mom" taught their two sons how to fish for crab off the pier in the Gulf of Mexico and collect pecans in the orchard behind their Air Force based housing. Two years later, they moved to Ogden, Utah. Woody would continue to train in Ogden and Claudette and their two sons moved to Broomfield, Colorado for 2 years while Woody was stationed in Guam, flying missions over North Vietnam. From Broomfield, Claudette and the boys moved to Blytheville, Arkansas for four years where Woody completed his Air Force career and retired. After Woody's retirement from the Air Force, they moved back to Broomfield, Colorado.
In Broomfield, Claudette took care of the boys and was known as "Mrs. O'D" to all their sons' friends. She was always happy to see any of kids visit the house. Claudette was known to the residents of Broomfield as the lady who wrote "Cooking with Claudette" for the Broomfield Enterprise paper. Her interest in cooking came from her travels through Europe. Her sons' friends loved coming over to enjoy whatever meal was being had.
In 1995, Claudette and Woody move to Colorado Springs where they spent the rest of their retirement together.
We miss mom very much. She was the best mom anyone could have. Claudette is survived by her children; Steven C. O'Donnell, Tucson, AZ; Robert W. (Lynn) O'Donnell, Boulder, CO; her brother Robert K. Cranford, and his partner Carolyn S. Phillips of Enid, OK; and grandchildren Brianna R. O'Donnell and her partner Matthew Tutas, Tucson, AZ; Sarah Kristin O'Donnell, Los Angeles, CA; Ali W. O'Donnell, Boulder, CO; Siri W. O'Donnell, Boulder, CO; and three great grandchildren, Noah and Madison Tutas, Tucson AZ., and Jazz O'Donnell, Los Angeles, CA. She was preceded in death by her husband, John W. O'Donnell, and her brother, Richard A. Cranford, Peru, Il.
Published by The Gazette from Oct. 7 to Oct. 10, 2021.