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MADISON—Pat, age 86, passed away on July 18, 2017, at Oakwood Prairie Ridge. He was born on Oct. 7, 1930, in Eau Claire, Wis., the son of James W. O’Donahue and Hazel Violet Miller.

He attended high school at St. Pat’s, where he excelled in sports and met his lifelong wife of 65 years, Gerrie Hobbs. Pat earned an athletic scholarship to UW-Madison, where he became a proud member of the famed 1951 ‘Hard Rocks’, the greatest defensive team in UW history. He earned All American status and played in the 1952 North South All Star Game. In addition to his athletic achievements, his teammates became his lifelong friends.

Pat was drafted by San Francisco 49ers in the 5th round of the NFL draft where he played his rookie year. He spent two years in Japan with the U.S. Army, then returned to play a year with the Green Bay Packers. Pat felt that Madison was always good to him, so he and his wife, Gerrie, decided to make Madison their home. He owned his life/health insurance agency, Pat O’Donahue & Assoc. Pat loved to golf and give back to the community. The “Pat O’Donahue’s Golf for Kids” celebrity golf tournament has become the chief fundraiser for Easter Seals’ Camp Wawbeek, a summer camp in the Dells. He is a past president of the W Club and the NFL Alumni Association.

Pat is survived by his wife of 65 years, Gerrie; his children, Kevin of Madison, Sharon (Duane) Fox of Appleton and Kelly (Tim) of Shoreview, Minn.; and his sister, Kate Ochsner of Tennessee. In addition, he has seven grandchildren, Kimberlee, Matthew, Elizabeth, Lee, Emily, Patrick and Ellie, plus two great-grands, Kerris and Derr. Pat is joining his parents in Heaven along with his sisters, Joanne McGill and Marge O’Donahue, and many, many friends.

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A visitation will be held at ST. PETER’S CATHOLIC CHURCH, 5001 N. Sherman Ave., Madison, on July 22, 2017, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Mass will be held immediately following the visitation at 11 a.m. with Monsignor Charles Schluter officiating. We wish to thank the Agrace HospiceCare team and the entire Care team at Oakwood for their loving care. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Agrace HospiceCare, St. Peter’s Church or Camp Wawbeek. To view and sign this guestbook, please visit

Ryan Funeral Home

& Cremation Services

2418 N. Sherman Ave.

(608) 249-8257

the life of: O'Donahue, James Patrick "Pat"
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