Sunday, November 23, 2014

Obituary of John O'Donnell Rosales at his memorial service In Mobile Al 11/16/14

John O' Donnell Rosales February 19, 1968 - November 4, 2014.

The following text is from his obituary card with photos of his memorial service at the Mobile Alabama history museum Sunday November 16, 2014. This memorial was organized by Johns' adopted daughter of the heart, Heather Mathews and another discovered cousin Buck Norred with assistance from his fellow brothers and students of the TKE Fraternity of the University of South Alabama.

"My name is John O' Donnell Rosales, and I grew up on the border between Union City, New Jersey and West New York, New Jersey. I am a Cuban exile and I arrived in the United States as a young boy in 1971."
Excerpt, John O Donnell Rosales August 2, 2014

No one was prepared on November 4th 2014 for the passing of John O' Donnell Rosales. He leaves behind a legacy of a life lived in friendship and service that affected everyone that met him. John leaves numerous members, fraternity brothers and friends. He is survived by his mother Rosa Bello, his sister Susell Sierra, her husband Willie, and their daughter Kylie of West New York, NJ. John also leaves the child of his heart Heather Mathews.

A proud Cuban native, he was born in the city of Bayamo on February 19th, 1968 and escaped to the United States In 1971. He continued to be an advocate and an activist for Cuban liberation throughout his life, including his efforts in the Cuba Libre Camp. (#172 of the Sons of Spanish American War Veterans)

His passion for the history of Mobile and the gulf coast remains unsurpassed. John was a devoted supporter of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity; he was an alumnus of the fraternity both in Mobile and Miami. All of the members have memories of when his guidance helped them. He founded a camp for the Sons of Spanish American War Veterans and supported the Sons of Confederate Veterans. (His last booklet Cuban Confederate Soldiers from Alabama was  researched under the auspices of the Rafael Semmes Camp #11 here in Mobile)

As an author, he gave life to stories of unsung heroes whose contributions would normally have been forgotten. He wrote of his own ancestry, the history of Mobile and of events that shaped our city and this country.

His vast and varied spirituality offered acceptance to people of many diverse beliefs from the Catholic Church to the Church of Later Day Saints. This is reflected in the time he spent in service to others, at every level he contributed to people.

He gave of himself; a Coke and a smile, a sandwich to someone in need, or a lasting relationship with seeking help or guidance. Throughout his life John was a soldier, an exile, a historian and a scholar... but always foremost a mentor and a friend to everyone around him.

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