James Michael Ondrako


James M. Ondrako, 74, of Batesville, IN, beloved husband of Paula (Stewart) Ondrako for 54 years, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by the ones he laughed with, lived for and loved on Thursday, June 21, 2018.
He was born in Mount Pleasant, PA, to Michael and Grace Anne (Pfrogner) Ondrako.
Besides his wife Paula, Jim is also survived by his sister Janyette Martin (Philip) of Agawam, MA.
He was preceded in death by his oldest sister Joyce Ann Kline (Alan), who passed away in Phoenix, AZ, in April 2017; and his granddaughter Jessica Leigh Schneider of Middletown, OH.
Jim and Paula were blessed with two children, Janeen Ann Schneider of Middletown, OH, and Brandon James Ondrako of Watertown, MN. Janeen has a son, Justin Mark, and daughter, Jessica Leigh. Brandon and Lara (Bianconi) have two sons, Nikolai Brandon and Declan James. Also, he has one great-grandson, Jayce Justin Schneider, son of Justin Mark; as well as a nephew, several nieces, and other close relatives, friends and neighbors.
Jim is a graduate from Point Park College in Pittsburgh, PA, where he met Paula and earned an Associate in Science degree majoring in marketing and management and a graduate of Kent State University with a bachelor's in business administration.
He pursued a career in the hospitality industry with the Hilton Hotels Corporation and Harpenau Hotels and then as General Manager of the Cincinnati Club. He then went on to work with the American Golf Corporation located in Santa Monica, CA, as a Regional Director for seven properties in Ohio. His crowning achievement was the conception, design and construction of the Oasis Golf Club and Conference Center in Loveland, OH, collaborating with the Arnold Palmer Design Company and the Shriners of Cincinnati. Many long-lasting relationships were made with the Shriner family. Building a golf course with Arnold Palmer was a lifetime dream come true for Jim as Arnie was his idol.
Jim retired after having worked with the Hillenbrand Corporation in Batesville, IN, to operate and then sell the Sherman House, a historic inn, banquet and restaurant facility.
Jim loved to spend time with his family traveling, fishing, golfing and watching old-time TV programs.
The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to the staff at the Margaret Mary Cancer Center and the Margaret Mary Home Health, Hospice and Palliative Care Association. Their dedication and effort to provide quality care over the last months were a heartwarming blessing to the family. We thank God for the gift of his life and the blessing of the time spent with him.
A celebration of life will be held July 21, 2018, at 4:00pm at the Meyers Funeral Home in Batesville, IN, with visitation from 2:00 to 4:00pm. Burial will be at the family's grave site in Mount Pleasant, PA, Cemetery at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be donated to Margaret Mary Health Foundation (https://www.mmhealth.org/health-foundation) and/or Shriners Hospitals for Children (https://donate.lovetotherescue.org). Online condolences www.meyersfuneralhomes.com.
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Published on July 16, 2018
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