Obituary: Marie C. O’Donnell

Obituary of Marie C. O’Donnell

Marie C. O’Donnell, age 75, lifetime resident of this area died Monday, January 3, 2022, after a long and courageous battle with cancer. Funeral services will be held at 11am Friday, January 7, 2022, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Iowa City with burial to follow at the St. Bridget’s Cemetery rural Solon. A time of visitation for Marie’s husband, Mike and other family members to greet friends will be held from 4 to 7 pm Thursday at Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service.

Memorial donations can be made to “The Friends of St. Bridget’s Church”, which Marie was one of the founding members to preserve this church and cemetery grounds. To share a thought, memory or condolence with her family please visit the funeral home website @

Marie Catherine Maher was born on the family farm in rural Cedar County, the daughter of Harold and Catherine (Furhmeister) Maher. She attended Cedar County Country School until high school when she attended and graduated from Solon High School with the Class of 1963. On July 8, 1967, she was united in marriage to Michael O’Donnell at St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Iowa City. The couple made their home in Coralville and then Iowa City where she worked at the First National Bank and later assisting her husband, Mike in his real estate business. She was very proud of her home and delighted in social gatherings there. Very much the Hostess with class and charm. Marie and Mike enjoyed traveling, especially to Hawaii where they made several trips, always a favorite.

She was an active member of St. Patricks Catholic Church where she was involved with the Helping Hands program. She was the family historian and took great pride in her genealogy work, but nothing compares to her hard work with the formation of the Friends of St. Bridgets group and subsequent work on the church and cemetery grounds. What started as a few ambitious members, has grown to nearly 400 members working to preserve such a beautiful landmark of this area. Marie’s family includes her husband, Mike; three sisters, Joan, Beverly and Joyce; a number of special nieces and nephews and a host of friends from over the years. She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Steve.

A beautiful soul that was loved dearly and will be missed by many, rest in peace Marie.

2021 Christmas Party Not Happening

The 2021 Christmas Party is not going to happen due to ongoing concerns with COVID-19. The safety and well-being of our supporters, families, and friends is our priority. For that reason, we have decided to not hold the annual Christmas Party again this year. We look forward to bringing this wonderful holiday tradition back. Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.

Meeting Notice

Meeting Notice: Please join us for Friends of St. Bridget’s Church annual meeting.

Date: Wednesday, June 2, 2021 at 6:00 PM.

Location: St. Bridget’s Church

  • Discuss tree and landscaping plans
  • Share ideas for our new gathering place building usage
  • Get updates on church projects.

Everyone is welcome!

St. Bridget’s Annual Memorial Day Event

Monday, May 31, 2021
8:30 AM – Church and new building open to visitors
9:00 AM – Mass offered by Fr. Martin outdoors in cemetery
10:30 AM – Church and new building close to visitors

Bring your lawn chair, family and friends to help us celebrate Memorial Day with mass in St. Bridget’s cemetery; it will be inside if it rains.  Join us after mass for our program honoring veterans, deceased family and all members of St. Bridget’s community. 

There will be no refreshments offered this year due to current COVID-19 guidelines.  Please share our event with all your family and friends. 

In accordance with current health guidelines, we encourage those that are not vaccinated to wear a mask and continue social distancing. 

We thank everyone in advance for helping us continue this annual event in a safe way for all.

Obituary: John P. Wall

We are saddened to share the news of the passing of John Wall. He was one of the founding members of the Friends of St. Bridget’s Church. We are keeping his family in our thoughts and prayers.


John P. Wall, 87, peacefully entered his eternal home Sunday, Jan. 3 after a long battle with escalating health issues.

The family will celebrate a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m., Friday, January 9, 2021 at St. Bernadette’s Catholic Church, West Branch. Co-celebrants will be Father Guillermo Treviño Jr., and Father Dennis Martin. Friends may view the Mass on the St. Bernadette’s Facebook page. Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m., Thurs., Jan. 7 at St. Bernadette’s Catholic Church. All guests attending the visitation are required to wear a face mask and abide by social distancing guidelines. Family committal services will be held at St. Bridget’s Cemetery at noon Friday. In lieu of flowers the family would prefer donations to the Johnson County 4-H Endowment Fund, Friends of St. Bridget’s, the West Branch or Solon Fire Departments. Memorials may be sent to the family in care of Box 167, Iowa City, Iowa 52244.

John was born March 19, 1933 in Iowa City, Iowa, the youngest child of John and Mary Leonard Wall. He was a 1951 graduate of City High School. John was a life-long farmer. John served in the US Army from 1953-55, John enjoyed his entire life living on Morse Road on the family farm that he worked with his brother, Larry, and then son, Tom. The land was designated a Century Farm in 2016. John married the love of his life, Mary Ellen Martin, on August 25, 1959 at St. Patrick’s Church in Fairfax, Iowa.

Seasons and projects are never ending on a farm, but John carved out time to help the community, pork industry and farm business. He was involved in the Pork Producers at the county, state and national levels. John was part of the National Livestock and Meat Board, serving as the Pork Industry Group chairman. A 4-H leader for the Graham Champions club, he and Mary Ellen were 2003 inductees into the Iowa 4-H Hall of Fame. John was part of the Johnson County Fair Association. He served on the US Bank board of directors from 1989-2005. John was recognized as an Iowa Master Farmer and an Iowa Master Pork Producer. He was active in establishing Friends of St. Bridget’s to support the church site that his great-grandparents played a part in starting in 1859.

He was an avid sports fan and was a long time season ticket holder for Iowa Hawkeye football and basketball games. John enjoyed being a part of the Iowa Quarterback Club. Those eyes that watched many a Hawkeye victory were donated to Iowa Lions Eye Bank to hopefully help another person.

John is survived by his loving wife Mary Ellen and their daughter, Mary (Steve) of Gainesville, Fla., his daughter-in-law Anita and three grandchildren, Rachel (Jim) Sweeney of Alden, Greg Wall (Hayley) of Iowa City, and Sarah (Brandon) Reinberg of Gladbrook; his beloved great-grandchildren Charlee and Chance Wall and Ruby, Lane and Brooks Reinberg; cherished in-laws and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family.

John was preceded in death by his son, Tom and daughter, Margaret Ann; brother Larry, sisters Mary Sheda, Jean Howell and Laurena Lehman; parents John and Mary Wall.

Arrangements and online condolences may be sent to