Flushing Writer, Politician and Financial Consultant, James Francis O’Donnell Is Dead at 85


James Francis O’Donnell, 85, of Flushing, writer, politician, and financial consultant, died Feb. 3 at Greenwich Hospital, Greenwich, Conn., surrounded by family and friends.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Feb. 9 at Mary’s Nativity Church, Flushing.
Born at St. Mary’s Hospital, Brooklyn, he attended All Hallows H.S., the Bronx, and Fordham University, where he received a master’s degree in medieval history.
After military service in Korea, he worked as copy boy and cub correspondent for the New York Daily News at the United Nations. He then served as private confidential aide to Queens County District Attorney Frank D. O’Connor. 
He also served as special assistant to City Council President O’Connor and a special assistant to the future Mayor of New York City, Comptroller Abraham Beame. 
In 1965, he marched with Martin Luther King Jr. from Selma to Montgomery, Ala. 
He was a public relations executive with the Long Island Lighting Company from 1970 to 1977, where he won several awards for his professional writing. He then became an advertising and public relations manager for Mutual of America Insurance Co., where he was also a sales consultant until his retirement in 1994.
An active parishioner of Mary’s Nativity, he served as a trustee and president of the Parish Council. In 1999, the parish’s Holy Name Society awarded him a Lifetime Achievement Award. 
He was a director and also a vice president of the Queens County Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Knights of Malta, the American Irish Historical Society of New York, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, the  St. John’s University Council, and the President’s Clubs of St. John’s University and Fordham University.
Many of his letters to the editor appeared in The Tablet.
He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Elaine Bruck O’Donnell, and their four beloved children, Mary Mongelli of Belle Harbor, Amy O’Donnell of Wilton, Conn., Anne Galinsky of Madison, Conn., and James E. O’Donnell of Northport, L.I. 
Burial was at Mount St. Mary’s Cemetery,  Flushing.