Donald Jerome Omodt, Age 89, a native of St. Paul and longtime resident of Southwest Minneapolis passed away peacefully on St. Patrick's Day. Don is preceded in death by his parents Hugh and Lillian; sister Marie; wife of more than 50 years Helen Ann; and daughter Debbie. Survived by sister Nancy Krawczak of Mathomedi; sister-in-law Carole Kenny (Bill) of Bloomington; children Sue (Paul), Chris (Jane), Steven, Tom, Paul (Betsy), Amy (Molly) and Mark (Jane); grandchildren, David (Anna), Karin, Rachel, Matt (Sarah), Monica, Nick, Jake, Laura, Erin, Natalie, Kevin, Josh, Charlie and Luke; and many nieces and nephews. He also leaves behind his 'brother' Finn Aamodt of Oslo, Norway, who along with his wife, Astri, and their family were part of Don's vast extended family; Don is also preceded in death by his good friend and FBI partner Bill Geiermann, and friend and "fishing buddy" Mohammed (Mo) Selim.
Don and his wife Helen Ann opened their house to many of people over the years and sharing a meal or spending a night at their home was their way of making the world a smaller place. Over the years, the Omodt home welcomed foster brothers and sisters, foreign exchange students, relatives, extended relatives and travelers. Special love to Sister Rosemary Hoschette, Sister Luke Hoschette, Duncan Wilson, Beth (Geiermann) Scott, the Aamodts of Norway, the Hervellas of Spain, Kathy Leuschner Trachsel of Switzerland, and Fernando Coelho of Uruguay who all became part of the fabric of Don's family.
Don was a long-time public servant and active member of the Twin Cities community. Don served as Hennepin County Sheriff for 28 years, shaping the Sheriffs Department to reflect the professionalism and pride of law enforcement "A public office is a public trust" guided his time as Sheriff as he sought to continually serve the County and law enforcement. Special thanks to his Front Office leadership team and all the Hennepin County Sheriffs Deputies who granted him the privilege of his life to have proudly served alongside you. To his longtime Deputy Jim O'Shea who was like a son to Don, the family extends our love.
His time in law enforcement also included time as assistant Hennepin County attorney and a special agent for the FBI for many years. Nationally, he served on the board of the National Sheriffs Association and as NSA president, as well as on several federal prison commissions. He taught Constitutional Law and police tactics for many years at Normandale Community College. Don was a WWII and Korean War era veteran who trained as a U.S. Army paratrooper.
Don was a special mentor and advisor to many civic groups and people over the years, quietly giving his time and talents. He helped found Arc Greater Twin Cities to support people with developmental disabilities. He was active in the Catholic church and the parishes of Christ The King and Our Lady of Grace, serving as lay minister, Gospel reader, communion host and in other roles; he was involved in interfaith groups that sought to bring communities of faith together. As a longtime member of Torskeklubben, he gathered regularly to share his Norwegian heritage and proudly served as 'Boss' for many years. An amateur historian,
Don studied historic tilings that interested him and authored several books and articles over the years. Don is a proud graduate of Cretin High School (1945), the University of Minnesota, William Mitchell College of Law, where he received his doctorate of law, and the FBI National Academy.
He loved playing, coaching and watching hockey as well as cheering on the Gopher Men and Women teams, North Stars and Wild. A man of great faith, love of family, and a believer in service to community and others, Don leaves behind a rich legacy born out by the many lives he touched.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Arc Greater Twin Cities, Vail Place, the Helen Ann Omodt scholarship fund at Southwest High School, the Cretin High School scholarship fund or donor's choice.
Mass of Christian Burial Thursday, March 23rd, 10:30 AM, Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, 5071 Eden Ave., Edina. Interment Fort Snelling National Cemetery. Visitation one hour prior to service at the church and Wednesday, March 22nd from 5-9 PM at: Washburn-McReavy.com Edina Chapel 952-920-3996 West 50th Sreet & Highway 100.