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Jerry O’Donnell, 82, beloved father and friend, and respected colleague, was called to his eternal resting place April 6, 2016.

He entered this world April 3, 1934, in Durant, Okla., the son of Thomas and Bessie O’Donnell.

Jerry was a very private man who was loved and respected by many. He had the complex mind of a scientist and the big heart of a poet, and was fortunate enough to capitalize on both of his passions. He enjoyed debating his beliefs and points of view, often with his best friend, Tim Lane, and spent many hours driving through his beloved New Mexico countryside.

He valued the importance of an education, starting off at a small college in West Texas and ending with receiving his PhD in chemistry from Florida State University. This led to a varied background, from teaching at colleges and universities to his final chapter as the state chemist for New Mexico.

Jerry cared deeply for his children and grandchildren, and will be missed dearly by all.

Survivors include son Patrick O’Donnell; daughters Kathy Miller and husband Clyde, Kelly Gonzales and husband Alfonso, Kerry O’Donnell and husband Greg Hanavelt, and Kearney Rogers; grandchildren Alan Miller, Jeff Miller and wife Michelle, Thomas Gonzales, James Gonzales, Erin O’Donnell, Michael-Sean O’Donnell, Sheridan O’Donnell and fiancée Claudia Azurmendi, Shannon O’Donnell, Benjamin Kocurek, Mitchell Kocurek and Faith Amador, and Matthew Kocurek; and two great-grandchildren, Jade Miller and Levi Kocurek.

A private graveside service for family was held earlier in Artesia.

A forensic science scholarship fund has been created in his memory, and donations may be mailed to: Southwestern Association of Forensic Scientists, c/o Donna Williams, P.O. Box 301129, Houston, TX, 77230.

Arrangements are under the direction of Terpening & Son Mortuary. Condolences may be expressed online at www.artesiafunerals.com.