Richard J. (Dick) O’Dowd
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 Karen, his future wife. They married on St. Patrick’s Day in 1956 and celebrated their 65th Anniversary this year. He shared his love of all things Irish through the Irish Heritage Society of Grand Rapids, MI, his Irish import business and retail shop, The Irishman’s Corner, in Rockford, MI, and Irish presentations on Longboat Key and the libraries of Manatee County.
Dick’s diverse and adventurous career path ranged from Real Estate in Kansas City, Denver, and Michigan to the hospitality industry in Florida. Beginning with the Disney Institute in Orlando, he segued to The Colony, then LaPlaya Condos on Longboat Key, where owners and guests enjoyed playing chess on the beach, or challenging matches poolside with Dick. As a chess enthusiast, he collected chess sets from around the world and started chess clubs in schools and libraries in many communities.
He treasured his continued affiliation with the Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce and was honored to receive their “Good as Gold” award twice for his contribution of service and enthusiasm.
He was Condo Association Manager at La Playa for many years and a member of the Condo Managers of Longboat Key. He treasured his continued affiliation with the Longboat Key Chamber of Commerce and was honored to receive their “Good as Gold” award twice for his contribution of service and enthusiasm. He credits his mentor, motivation expert Earl Nightingale, for teaching him to always do “a little bit more for the lavishing sake.”
Dick is survived by his wife, Karen; children Laura (Jim) Lewakowski, John (Sue) O’Dowd, and Katie (Glenn) Spiegler; 8 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, and a multitude of Irish cousins.
Cremation has taken place. A Celebration of Life is being planned for a later time.
Donations to the MDS Foundation are appreciated.