On July 30, 2019 Michael Sean O'Donnal was hiking in Rock Canyon just east of Provo, Utah when he fell from a cliff and lost his life. He was 43 years old. Sean was born on April 6, 1976 in Shawnee Mission, Kansas. It was the 146th anniversary of the organization of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and also the 200th anniversary of the birth of our nation, so it was a special day and he was a very special spirit.
As a child he was normally very calm and sweet and was a peacemaker in our home. On a rare occasion one of his siblings would push him beyond a certain limit, and he would become an avenging angel sent to reap down the earth. However, within minutes he was back to being his normal kind, peace-loving self. Gratefully, we have not seen that avenging angel since he was a child.
Sean lived in Overland Park, Kansas until he was 11, when the family moved to Lincoln, Nebraska. He graduated from high school in Lincoln, served a mission for the Lord in the Oregon Portland Mission, and then settled in Provo.
He was an unusually talented artist. As a child he would spend hours drawing the most intricate and detailed pictures. He could draw a person, a car, the Statue of Liberty, or almost anything else without needing to see a picture of it. It was all in his head.
Sean and his brothers all loved skateboarding and could often be found at their favorite skateboard places around town. Dad bought a skateboard, thinking it would be a good way to connect with his sons, but it didn't end well for Dad. At a recent family reunion the three boys visited several skate parks. Even though they are now all in their 40's, they can still drop into a bowl with almost vertical walls and do some amazing tricks.
Sean enjoyed Brazilian jiu jitsu and got quite good at it. It was not unusual for him to grapple with guys much bigger and more "buff" than he and end up winning. Often they couldn't believe he beat them and asked for a rematch, but it generally ended the same way.
He loved karaoke and was a talented singer. He went to two different karaoke places almost every week and was the disk jockey at one of them. He even got his siblings, nieces and nephews, and parents to do karaoke with him when we were together.
Sean worked for many years at the Provo and Payson Dialysis Clinics. He loved helping people, and was a favorite of many of the patients in spite of the fact that he would stick needles in them and take their blood. He was respected and admired by his co-workers and developed many lasting friendships.
He loved children and was a great favorite of all his nieces and nephews. He seemed to know what would be fun for them at every age and would play with them for hours. They all feel a very special connection to him.
Sean was a tender and caring soul. He was very sensitive of people's feelings, could tell when they were feeling down and needed a friend, and was always willing to be that friend.
Sean is survived by his parents Larry and Sherry O'Donnal of Nephi, UT, his siblings Christy Cox of Yakima, WA, Mark (Lisa) O'Donnal of Lehi, UT, Julie (Jeff) Trogan of Gilbert, AZ, Nevin O'Donnal of Olathe, KS, as well as 11 nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, August 6th at 10:00 AM at the Nephi North Stake Center at 1125 N. 400 E. in Nephi, Utah, with a viewing an hour before the service. Interment will be at the Vine Bluff Cemetery in Nephi.
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