William C. O'Donnell died at his Boca Grande home Friday of apparent heart failure.
Born in 1922 in Saint Louis, O'Donnell was a graduate of Saint Louis University High School and Saint Louis University.
In Boca Grande, where he and his wife of 52 years, Julie Rohn vonBrecht O'Donnell, made their home for the last 15 years, he was a member of Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Parish and Gasparilla Golf Club. The O'Donnells summered in Douglas, Mich.
O'Donnell had a long, distinguished career in the broadcast industry. He began his career at KXOK in Saint Louis and was a pioneer in "Transit Radio."
He started at CBS spot sales and became vice president and general manager of WBBM Radio in Chicago where he launched one of the country's first "All News" formats. Continuing with CBS, he became vice president and general manager of television station KNXT in Los Angeles. He was known for his editorials.
His broadcasting career also included management of WCFL in Chicago and ownership of four radio stations in Wisconsin.
A memorial service in Boca Grande will be set at a later date.
Besides his wife, he is survived be a sister, Betty Luth of Saint Louis; children, Julie Murphy of Winnetka,, Ill., Sally Groennigs of Saint Louis, Libby Berner of Greenwich, Conn., William C. O'Donnell Jr. of Barrington, Ill., John O'Donnell, Angela Howenstein and Christopher O'Donnell of Los Angeles; and 23 grandchildren.
Funeral Mass will be at the Little Flower Catholic Church in Saint Louis at 11 a.m. Wednesday. Dec. 8. Internment in St. Louis will be private. A memorial Mass will be held in Winnetka at 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9, at Saints Faith, Hope and Charity Catholic Church. A memorial service in Boca Grande will be set at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be made to Mother of Good Council Home, 6825 Natural Bridge, St. Louis, MO 63121. Arrangements are by Bopp Funeral Chapel, Saint Louis.