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Categorized | Obituary

RICHARD J. O’DOWD

11/17/1934 – 9/26/2021

Former Cedar Springs resident Richard J. (Dick) O’Dowd, age 86, of Bradenton, FL passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, September 26, 2021. Born and raised in Kansas City, MO, Dick attended Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, MI where he met his future wife, Karen. They married on St Patrick’s day in 1956 and celebrated their 65th anniversary this year. After 15 years in the Kansas City area, Dick moved his family back to Michigan first settling on a “Gentleman’s Farm” in Cedar Springs. Dick loved the quiet life in the country tending to the chickens, ducks and geese, occasionally getting on a horse, snowmobiling in the pastures, or just enjoying the view of Pine Lake from the big picture window in the family room. His diverse and adventurous career path ranged from real estate in Michigan to the hospitality industry in Florida. Dick shared his love of all things Irish through his affiliation with the Irish Heritage Society in Grand Rapids, and through The Irishman’s Corner in Rockford. His green Model A replica could be seen in many a Red Flannel Day parade! An avid tennis player, Dick organized fund-raising tennis events for various charities. As a chess enthusiast, he collected chess sets from around the world and started chess clubs in schools and libraries in many communities. He is survived by his wife, Karen (DeVriendt); children, Laura (Jim) Lewakowski, John (Sue) O’Dowd, and Katie (Glenn) Spiegler; 8 grandchildren, Andy (Julie) Lewakowski, Emily (Joe) Hughes, and Erin (Matthew) Greenhouse; Mike (Angie) O’Dowd, Ryan O’Dowd, Tricia (Ryan) Hopkins; Jessica and Hannah Spiegler; 14 great-grandchildren; 2 nieces, 1 nephew; brother-in-law, Mike DeVriendt; and a multitude of cousins. Cremation has taken place. A celebration of life is planned for a future date. Donations to the MDS Foundation are appreciated. Dick had a soft spot in his heart for animals in need. Please consider a donation to the Humane Society of West Michigan in Dick’s memory.

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