Floral 16

MaryAnna O'Donnell

January 11, 1957 ~ November 3, 2022 (age 65) 65 Years Old
Read more about the life story of MaryAnna and share your memory.    


Holding the hand of her husband of 41 years and surrounded by the love of her family and friends, MaryAnna O’Donnell’s life on earth ended on Thursday, November 3, 2022. She left this world as she lived, with uncommon dignity and in a state of grace after living with the challenges of an extended illness.

Born on January 11,1957 in Brookline, Massachusetts, MaryAnna was the daughter of Barbara Sabedra O’Donnell, who survives her, and the late Richard W. O’Donnell.

MaryAnna graduated from Pinkerton Academy in Derry, New Hampshire in 1974 and then received her nursing education at the Elliot Hospital School of Nursing in Manchester, New Hampshire. She worked for several years as an oncology nurse at Exeter Hospital in Exeter, where she received the “Nurse of the Year” award for outstanding and innovative service. She then moved on to work at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts.

After 20 years as a nurse, multiple moves in support of her husband’s career, a diagnosis of Celiac disease and the adoption of two children from Ethiopia, she decided to leave nursing and start something new. Her passion to improve the taste of gluten- free foods led to baking experimentation in her kitchen in Saratoga Springs, New York, and the selling of her products at local farmers’ markets. She created many popular and unique breads and rolls as well as innumerable pastries, pies, and cakes. The business grew, requiring a larger kitchen built in the basement of her home and, after a few more years, a newly remodeled and dedicated gluten-free facility, which MaryAnna designed, in Schuylerville, New York. Despite the impacts of COVID and her illness, the business continued to grow and continues to do so to this day, now managed by her son, Robert.

Throughout her life, MaryAnna was deeply involved in community activities. She fought against siting a recycling plant near Exeter due to concerns over toxic environmental waste. In the early 2000’s while living in Detroit, Michigan, she was deeply involved in her local Lutheran Church, teaching disadvantaged children how to grow and eat healthier food through urban farming. More recently, in Saratoga Springs, she dedicated her time and skill to the Immigration Coalition and the Youth Education program through her church, the Presbyterian New England Congregational Church. In Schuylerville, where her business remains, she worked with community and businesses leaders to help grow small business and increase the quality of life in town. Her community interests and causes centered around improving the overall quality of life for people at the local level. She was always looking for ways to help those in need, particularly through youth education and immigration reform.

An excellent baker and cook, MaryAnna was well known for hosting lively gatherings during the holidays as well as Super Bowl and birthday parties for friends and family. Always full of life, MaryAnna gave freely of her time and treasure, even deep into her illness. She brought life and love to every interaction, be it with a stranger, close friend, or family member. She loved hiking and scaled most of the 4,000-foot peaks in New Hampshire with her husband and two boys, Sean and Robert, both in summer and winter. She was a voracious reader and listener of old and new radio shows. Her music interests spanned Mozart to Bluegrass. The Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival became an annual family event where loved ones gathered for four days of sun (or sometimes heavy rain), camping, and music. Courageous, full of grace, and in charge throughout her illness, MaryAnna’s humble, loving, generous, and hardworking nature was known throughout the local community and within her immediate and extended family and friends.

MaryAnna is survived by her loving husband, Scott W. Averill; sons Sean and Robert, daughters Kidisti and Azeb, as well as grandchildren Blake, Frances, Stella, and Senai. Her loss is mourned by her siblings and spouses, including Paula and husband Dan, Frances and husband Frank, Robert and wife Dawn, and Joseph O’Donnell, as well as many loving nieces and nephews, including Tara, Tyler, Rachael, Gyllian, Vyctoria, and Saavedra.

In addition to her father, MaryAnna was preceded in death by her brothers Michael and Frederick.

At the family’s request, there will be no calling hours. A celebration of MaryAnna’s life is planned for May 6th, 2023, at 3 PM at the Presbyterian New England Congregational Church. More details will be shared through CaringBridge, at https://www.caringbridge.org/visit/maryannaodonnell

Arrangements are under the direction of Compassionate Funeral Care, Inc, 402 Maple Ave., Saratoga Springs, NY 12866. For online condolences, visit www.compassionatefuneralcare.com

Should you wish to support one or more of the organizations MaryAnna so deeply cared about during her remarkable life, the Immigration Coalition and Children’s Education Programs accept donations through the Presbyterian New England Congregational Church or PNECC. Checks can be made out and sent to PNECC, P.O. Box 582, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866 or online at the PNECChurch.org and click the “donate” button at the bottom of the page.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of MaryAnna O'Donnell, please visit our floral store.


Celebration of Life
May 6, 2023

3:00 PM
New England Presbyterian Church
24 Circular St
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Guaranteed delivery before the Celebration of Life begins

Online Memory & Photo Sharing Event
Online Event


In Loving Memory Of

MaryAnna O'Donnell

January 11, 1957-November 3, 2022

Look inside to read what others have shared

Family and friends are coming together online to create a special keepsake. Every memory left on the online obituary will be automatically included in the book.   


© 2022 Compassionate Funeral Care Inc.. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility