American Veteran 04

David M. O'Dessa

January 2, 1939 ~ June 21, 2021 (age 82)


David M. O’Dessa, 82, recently of Frederick, Maryland and a longtime resident of Edinboro, Pennsylvania, died on Monday, June 21, 2021 at Frederick Health Hospital with family at his side.

Born in Staten Island, New York, January 2, 1939, the son of Victor and Alice Murphy O’Dessa, he moved with his family to Pittsburgh at an early age. After graduation from Shaler High School in 1957, he attended Edinboro State Teachers College, now Edinboro University, receiving a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in 1961 and 1966 respectively.  At Edinboro he was a member of the E Club, a letterman’s association, and the Kappa Delta Phi social fraternity.  He lettered in football and track and in 1961 was the recipient of the Sox Harrison Award for Outstanding Senior Athlete.

In the fall of 1961, Dave was hired as an assistant football coach at Edinboro. After one season, he was drafted by the U.S. Army, serving from 1962 to 1964 with the 14th Armored Cavalry in Fulda, Germany. After his discharge, he taught for one year at the Fox Chapel School District near Pittsburgh, and in 1965 was recruited by his alma mater, Edinboro State College, as Assistant to the Dean of Men, Jim Harrison, and as an assistant football coach under Loyal Park.  

During his thirty plus years at Edinboro University, Dave held various positions including Director of Housing and Food Service and, at retirement in 1994, Vice President for Administration and Institutional Advancement. In 1982, Dave was inducted into the Edinboro State College Athletic Hall of Fame.

David is survived by his loving family, including his wife of 58 years, Janet Sovak O’Dessa, daughter, Dana O’Dessa Byard, husband Chris Byard, and two grandchildren, Elizabeth and David Byard, all of whom held a special place in his heart. He is also survived by his beloved sister, Lois Sechehay (Martin), sister-in-law, Paulette Ross (Jim), brother-in-law Paul Sovak (Stephanie), and several nieces and nephews. He also leaves behind many lifelong friends by whom he will be greatly missed.

The Glunt Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., Edinboro, is in charge of funeral arrangements.

Burial will be private in keeping with Dave’s wishes. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Edinboro University, designated for the Mr. and Mrs. Victor O’Dessa Scholarship. Donations may be sent to: Edinboro University Advancement Office, 210 Meadville Street, Edinboro, PA 16444. To send condolences, please visit


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No visitation or service will be held at this time.

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