Jake’s Journey

August 13th, would be USMC Sgt Jake O’Donnell’s 32nd birthday.

Five years ago - March 29, 2013 - we set out on a journey.  That is the day we lost our son and brother Jake.

Jake was a Sergeant in the US Marine Corp when two marines rang our bell just before midnight to inform us that Jake was gone.  After laying Jake to rest and sorting through what had occurred, my family and I decided to create a scholarship in his name.  The obvious choice was a permanently endowed scholarship at his alma mater, Saint Peter’s Prep.

It seemed like a daunting task.  There were days I thought what have gotten myself into.  As of this date, the Sgt John “Jake” O’Donnell, ‘04 Scholarship at Prep stands at $56,515.

We have been able to assist a student each year, who might not have been able to attend Prep.  In context, here are our past recipients:
2013-14 - Justin Walker (Univ of Albany)
2014-15 - David Tolentino (US Naval Academy)
2015-16 - Jonathan Lewis
2016-17 - Jonathan Lewis (Rutgers University)
2017-18 - Zamir Mickens (Rutgers University)
2018-19 - TBA

Each of these young men have made us proud, as our family looks forward to their progress and the future students who will join their ranks.

There is a hole in our hearts that will never be filled.  Jake is so dearly missed by us all.  Nothing can replace him or bring him back to us.  We can only remember his laugh, corny jokes, and willingness to always help a friend.

As a result of our ongoing fundraising efforts, this scholarship continues to grow.  I invite you to celebrate Jake’s life and remember his birthday.

No amount is too small, in Jake’s name we will help young men grow in their studies and spirit at St Peter’s.

On behalf of my family, we thank you.

John R. O’Donnell, Sr
  • Jim Feeney
    • $25 
    • 51 mos
  • Michael Florie
    • $50 
    • 51 mos
  • Steve Gallo
    • $100 
    • 52 mos
  • Donna Killmer
    • $25 
    • 52 mos
  • John Gilburn jr
    • $100 
    • 52 mos
See all


John R. O'Donnell
Bayonne, NJ
St Peters Preparatory School
Registered nonprofit
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