Michael O’Dunne Obituary (1943 – 2022) – Saratoga, NY
Michael O’Dunne passed away at his home on Wednesday, April 6, 2022 after a long battle with cancer. Leslie Nover, his best friend and wife of 46, was by his side at the time of his death. Michael was born in Washington, DC on March 21, 1943, the second of four children to Eugene Dunne and Eleanor Gusack. After a childhood in the nation’s capital, Michael attended Yale for a short time until he and the Ivy League came to a mutual understanding and Michael “set off”. He was accompanied by his huge dog Muddy, one of the few creatures who shared Michael’s unique and indomitable combination of loyalty and quirkiness. Michael traveled across the country, playing his distinct mix of folk, bluegrass, and country music at dive bars and cafes from Southern California to Maine and everything in between. He remained a nomad until 1973, when fate, a borrowed sweater, an open microphone and two dogs brought him and Leslie together at Saratoga’s legendary folkloric haunt, Cafe Lena. It is impossible to measure the impact Michael had on the people in his life. He valued his family above all else, and there is no doubt that it is his and Leslie’s love and devotion that keeps his family incredibly close. Notorious for what his grandson Leo called “Daddy’s extra talking,” he would constantly start long conversations with employees in every restaurant, medical office, and store he entered. When he invariably came into contact with these people, he always remembered their stories and they remembered his. He had a knack for letting people know that he saw them, their struggles and their strengths, and that no matter what challenge they faced, they could cope. Despite his shortened formal education , Michael was a quick learner who worked tirelessly for his family . Michael was first a musician, but spent time as a bus driver, a Pinkerton security guard (working with thoroughbred racehorses, of course), and a hospital worker, before finally turning to the work of library operations. But beyond all these professions, Michael was a storyteller. His stories, whether sung, told at the dinner table or whispered as he put his children to bed, were captivating and hilarious. Ask and he’d tell the story of the signature on his draft card, how he ended up in a certain gonzo journalist book about biker gangs, or how his last name got an “O” despite his siblings all going by Dunne. Michael is remembered and celebrated by his wife, Leslie, children, Rebecca, Laura and Jesse, children-in-law, Colin, Noah and Alyssa, and the grandchildren who were everything in the last chapter of his life, Leo, Beatrix, Eve, Poppy and Sylvie. Michael also leaves behind three siblings, an older sister, Susan, and two younger brothers, Christopher and Gene. Michael’s greatest gifts to those around him were the values he instilled and inspired in those who loved him, his moral code, humanity, humor, passion and kindness. https://www.lastingmemories.com/michael-odunne
Published by The Saratogian from April 15 to April 17, 2022.