ALFRED O'DONNELL Alfred J. O'Donnell, beloved husband and father, passed into the arms of his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, April 9, 2015. Al was born and raised in Boston, and graduated from North Quincy High School. He married his high school sweetheart, Ruth McCausland, in 1943. Al gave up a promising baseball career with the Boston Braves, (now known as the Atlanta Braves) to join the United States Navy. Al received an honorable discharge after having served in World War II in the South Pacific. At the end of the war, Al attended Massachusetts Technical School, Northeastern University and the Alexander Hamilton Institute. Following graduation, Al was employed by the Raytheon Manufacturing Corporation and later transferred to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). During Al's tenure at MIT, he became associated with three professors, Dr. Harold Edgerton, Dr. Kenneth Germeshausin and Dr. Herbert Grier who had formed a partnership to develop the timing and signal distribution system for the arming and firing of all future nuclear and hydrogen bomb detonations in the South Pacific, Alaska, and the Nevada Test Site for the United States Atomic Energy Department. The partnership of the three professors at MIT later become the corporation known as EG&G. In 1952, Al and his family moved to Las Vegas after having been selected by Dr. Grier to open the offices and laboratory of EG&G in Las Vegas in support of the Nevada Test Site. One of Al's greatest achievements came when he was selected by Dr. Jack Clark, Nevada Test Site Director, to be a member of the four-man arming party responsible for making the final check and connections for the detonation of 168 nuclear and hydrogen bombs. Al retired from EG&G after 26 years of service. Al is named in the "First 100," a book published in 1999 which chronicles the 100 most influential people in Nevada during the early years. Al was preceded in death by his wife, of 69 years, Ruth Irene O'Donnell; daughters, (infant) Marjorie O'Donnell and Nancy J. Pearlman; as well as his son, Thomas M. O'Donnell. Al is survived by his daughter, Eileen Brown (Duncan); sons, William (Mary) and Daniel (Debbie) O'Donnell; as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Al was an active member of his church community and for many years taught Bible Study classes. The family wishes to thank the staff at Sunrise Senior Living, as well as the wonderful care that was provided by Compassionate Care Hospice. Al will be remembered with great love and affection for all who knew and loved him. Viewing will be 1-2 p.m. Sunday, April 26, at Davis Funeral Home, 6200 S. Eastern Ave., Las Vegas. Graveside services will following at Davis Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Doctors Without Borders.
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Published by Las Vegas Review-Journal on Apr. 12, 2015.