After many years of exemplary service to family, friends, and community,Order of the MekletH
recipient Lt. Cmdr. K'Chuk Khurn (aka Chuck O'Donnell), first officer of the of the IKV Iron Fist of Terror
, has departed for the Black Fleet. His passing was noted in The Akron Beacon Journal
Wed, Jun. 08, 2005
ObituaryAkronite aided charities with 'Star Trek' hobby
By Marilyn Miller, Beacon Journal staff writer
It only took one Star Trek convention to draw Charles M. "Chuck'' O'Donnell II into the make-believe world of the Klingons.
The 51-year-old science fiction lover soon became actively involved in the Black Fleet Empire of the Klingons. That was 10 years ago, and Lt. Cmdr. K'Chuk Khurn became Chuck O'Donnell's alter ego.
"He loved dressing up in his uniform, headpiece, flowing cape (battle cloak) and big black boots,'' said his wife, Audrey, whom he met at a Star Trek meeting.
"He was a die-hard fan,'' she said. "The Klingon history was a natural part of his real life. The make-believe Klingon code of honor was his code of honor, too. He was an honorable and brave warrior.''
The announcement of Mr. O'Donnell's death was launched on the local Klingon chapter's Web site.
"Warriors & Citizens of The Empire, I serve notice to the Black Fleet that a great warrior joins them! Former Commander of the I.K.V. (Imperial Klingon Vessel) Iron Fist of Terror K'Chuk of House Khurn (Chuck O'Donnell) died in battle June 3, 2005. He fought courageously against the most fearsome and cowardly of adversaries -- Cancer. I am honored to have counted K'Chuk as a comrade-in-arms and personal friend. His sword will be missed, as will his loyalty and sense of honor.
Cremation has taken place. A celebration of Mr. O'Donnell's life will be from noon until dark Saturday at 3244 Twin Hills St. N.W. in Uniontown.
Mr. O'Donnell, 51, was raised in Akron, the youngest of three children. He bought and still lived in that Sheridan Avenue home.
"We spoiled him rotten, because he was the baby,'' said his sister, Pam Yerkey of Springfield Township. "As a child and as an adult he was fun-loving and well-liked and could always make you smile.''
Mr. O'Donnell loved science fiction movies and watching television. Although he owned a collection of science fiction videos, his wife said it didn't bother them that their highest utility bill was for cable.
"His biggest regret is that he was not strong enough to attend the Star Wars movie, Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith,'' she said. "He really wanted to see it.''
His only hobby was his Star Trek connection.
It took him 1 and a half hours or more to get dressed and put on all his makeup,'' his wife said. "He was very authentic looking, and was often asked for his autograph. He'd take part in charitable events, never letting the ton of hot gear he'd wear to walk or bowl in get to him.
"He was kind and gentle, a sweet teddy bear of a man,'' she said. "He was also a quiet, unassuming man with a smile that showed off his dimples.''
But the look of his Klingon character was very different.
"As the commander, he was rather scary looking,'' said Audrey O'Donnell. "He stood out in a crowd, decked out in his make-up, uniform and black boots that added several more inches to his 6-foot, nearly 300-pound frame.''
His family supported him and his endeavors.
"I didn't understand anything about Star Trek, but the main thing is he liked it, and it made him happy, so I went along with it,'' said his mother, Reca O'Donnell. "We loved him and that was part of his world.''
A graphic designer at the Midwest Sign Co. in Canton, he sometimes made buttons and belts and sold them, with the proceeds going to Akron Children's Hospital Burn Unit or the Battered Women's Shelter.
"We made many personal appearances where we'd show up with a bucket and sword and ask for donations or just to encourage people to donate blood to the Red Cross,'' said his friend Brian Bowers of Akron.
"He was always helping people. If you needed something, he'd be there. Once he befriended you, he was your friend for life -- just like the Klingon warrior who never lets a friend face danger alone.''