Lasting Memories

John MacDonald Oda-Burns
June 18, 1931-Jan. 1, 2022
Portola Valley, California

Submitted by Crippen & Flynn Woodside Chapel

The Rev. John Macdonald Oda-Burns, retired rector of Christ Church Portola Valley, died on January 1, 2022 with family by his side.

Born in Exeter, Devon on June 18, 1931, John was educated at Exeter School, and read theology at King’s College London before serving in the Royal Artillery in Hong Kong. He returned to England to attend seminary at St. Boniface Theological College, Warminster. He was ordained as deacon in 1957, and priest in 1958 in the Church of England by Bishop Robert Mortimer at Exeter Cathedral. His ministry took him around the world, first as domestic chaplain to the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa, then to a parish in the Bahamas before arriving in the United States where he was vicar of St. Bede’s Episcopal Church in Menlo Park. For the last twenty-five years of his priesthood, he served as rector of Christ Church Portola Valley. Teaching, ecumenism and social justice were important parts of his ministry. His constant question was, “How do you live the Gospel at this time and in this place?” Following his retirement in 1996, he assisted at various churches on the Peninsula, including Transfiguration (San Mateo), St. Mark’s (Palo Alto), and his former parishes of St. Bede’s and Christ Church. He is survived by his wife, Marjorie; children John, Winifred and Theresa Michal; and grandchildren.

A requiem Eucharist will be celebrated at Christ Church on January 22, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. Proof of vaccination and masks, as required by the Diocese of California, will be necessary for attendance. A link for attendance by Zoom can be obtained from the church.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in his memory to Saint Bruno Catholic Church, San Bruno; Safe Harbor Shelter, South San Francisco; Second Harvest Food Bank of Silicon Valley; or Amnesty International.