Late Saturday night, longtime Kansas City Chiefs fan Pastor Michael O’Donnell Sr. shared a photo on social media of himself and his family posing with the Vince Lombardi Trophy and predicted it would go to his team for winning their first Super Bowl championship since the 1969 season. O’Donnell’s prediction was right but he never lived to see it.
On Sunday morning, the pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Wichita, Kansas, and proud father and husband died in his sleep just hours after posting his prediction on Facebook at 11:27 p.m. on Saturday.
“Here we are with the trophy that’s going back to Kansas City!” he noted in the post from Hard Rock, Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
The Chiefs would later stun the San Francisco 49ers, 31-20, under the leadership of their 24-year-old quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
Pastor O’Donnell’s family revealed their sudden heartbreak after tragedy struck.
“I’m absolutely heartbroken to share that my dad, my biggest supporter and the greatest man I know passed away unexpectedly this morning. He was in Miami getting ready for the Super Bowl to watch his beloved Chiefs. Our family is absolutely devastated and would appreciate your prayers. We know with certainty he is with our Savior,” Sedgwick County Commissioner and the pastor’s son Michael O'Donnell announced on Facebook.
In an interview with KWCH12 the commissioner recalled how his father had been waiting for his team to shine in the Super Bowl since he was a child.
"My dad grew up in the era of Lynn Dawson and the grandeur of the Chiefs franchise and had always had this desire that he couldn't go as a kid," O’Donnell said. "It's just so sad and ironic that he goes and the day of, he doesn't wake up this morning."
Pastor O’Donnell was affectionately known in his community as “Pastor Mike” and enjoyed calling into radio sports talk shows, the network reported.
In a statement on Facebook, KFH radio personality Bob Lutz said the sports community was also “heartbroken.”
“Our community is heartbroken today by the death of Pastor Michael O’Donnell overnight in Miami. We know him as Pastor Mike. He was a friend, a sometimes confidante and the best damn caller our radio show, The Drive, has or ever will have. This on the day he had been waiting 50 years for, to witness and cheer his beloved Chiefs in a Super Bowl. I can’t believe this has happened. And I will be pulling for the Chiefs today like I’ve never pulled for the Chiefs before,” Lutz wrote.
His son said along with his love for his favorite NFL team, Pastor O’Donnell's legacy is defined by his passion for God and his faith.
"It's been a great opportunity for me to talk about my dad's legacy and for me to talk about the fact that God is going to shine through this," he said. "We have a mission to carry on."
Prior to his death, Pastor O'Donnell had been leading Grace Baptist Church since 1984. He leaves behind his wife Peggy, three children and grandchildren.