William P. O’Donnell, 71, of Melbourne, Fla., died April 11 at his residencefollowing a long battle with brain cancer.

O’Donnell was born on April 14, 1934, in Syracuse, N.Y., and was raised inHawley, Pa. Following undergraduate study at the University of Scranton and theNewark College of Engineering, he served in the U.S. Navy for four years and wasa member of the Navy swim team.

After his military service, O’Donnell enjoyed a long career in fieldapplications design and implementation and sales manager in the industry ofconstructing and maintaining underground structures. His work helped preventinflow and infiltration of water into structures such as dams, subway tunnelsand the bathtub under the World Trade Center in New York City. His resumeincluded positions at Methods Engineering in Wilmington, Del., PressSeal GasketCo. in Fort Wayne, Ind., and ICA Americas chemical company. For the past 20years, O’Donnell worked for Avanti International, based in Houston, andcontinued to serve as its technical consultant until the time of his death.

O’Donnell, who holds a U.S. patent for a safety ladder used to accessconfined entry systems such as manholes, received several industry awards andrecognition from professional associations and municipalities in Florida,Tennessee and the Southeast for his contributions to infrastructure repair andsoil stabilization. In 2005, O’Donnell was named one of the 25 pioneers in hisindustry for his technical expertise — a knowledge he so willingly shared withhis customers, whom he considered friends.

O’Donnell is survived by his wife of 14 years, Michele, his mother, two sons,a stepson, a sister and three grandchildren. Memorial donations may be made tothe American Cancer Society.

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