George F. O’Connell
George F. O’Connell, 96, of Westfield, MA, passed away peacefully on Monday, March 23, 2020 at Chestnut Hill of East Longmeadow after a brief illness. George was born in Holyoke, MA on April 21, 1923, beloved son of the late Carl F. and Mary C. (Madden) O’Connell. After the death of George’s father Carl at age 40, his mother remarried Daniel J. O’Connell of Holyoke, MA.
George is predeceased by his two sisters and two brothers. Mary Agatha Carey of South Hadley, MA, Patricia G. Johnston of Chicopee, MA, James J. O’Connell of Longmeadow, MA, and Daniel F. O’Connell, of Holyoke, MA, who was killed in action in Lorraine, France in WWII. George leaves behind his Brother-in-Law, John G. Johnston of Russell, MA and his Sister-in-Law, Marjorie (Goodreau) O’Connell of East Long Meadow, MA.
George also leaves behind eleven beloved nieces and nephews, including Carolyn M. Johnston of Narragansett, RI, Mark W. Johnston of Russell, MA, Patrick J. Carey of Albuquerque, NM, Christopher C. Carey of Granby, CT, Ann C. (Carey) Desroches of Chicopee, MA, Daniel M. Carey of Granby, CT, Rosemary E. Carey of South Hadley, MA, Laura T. (Carey) Barrick of Granby, MA, Cynthia O’Connell, of Chatham, MA Daniel J. O’Connell of East Longmeadow, MA, and Karen (O’Connell) Aiello of East Longmeadow, MA. He also leaves behind many great, and great-great nieces and nephews.
George also leaves behind his adoring 11-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Erin O’Connell, who was recently adopted by his dear friends Liz and Rich Witherell of Russell, MA.
George grew up in Holyoke and graduated from Holyoke High School. Following high school, he enlisted in the armed services and spent two and half years in the Army. Following his military service, he returned to Holyoke, then moved to South Hadley, MA where he lived for several years. A career change took him to Pittsfield, MA, where he resided for over 51 years. George spent the last five years of his life as a resident at Armbrook Village Senior Living Residence in Westfield, MA.
A World War II Veteran, George served in the Army from May, 1943 – December, 1945 as a Technician Fourth Grade in the 482ndOrdnance Evacuation Company and the 334th Ordnance Battalion, attached to the Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment. His Battalion, as part of Armored Forces, was attached at different times to the 1st Army, 2nd Army, 3rd Army and the 9th Army. His Battalion landed on Utah Beach in Normandy 3 days after D-Day, and advanced through northern France, through Belgium, Holland, and into Germany in 1945. George spent his work career in various roles, including management, in the specialty paper industry, working for several years at White and Wyckoff in Holyoke, MA. He retired in 1986, after 25 years of employment as Product Manager & Graphic Design Administrator at Sheaffer-Eaton in Pittsfield, MA.
George will always be remembered for his gentle nature, his kindness and generosity, his dependability and strong sense of responsibility, his quick wit and wonderful sense of humor, his wide-ranging intellect, and for his love for his family and the many dogs that he owned over the years. George enjoyed cooking, playing the organ, and was an avid mineral collector. He was a voracious and diverse reader. He inspired his nephews and nieces through his various interests, including science fiction and nature. His inspiration and influence sparked some family members to ultimate career paths in science, teaching, and technical/engineering pursuits. He was a plant and gardening enthusiast, an excellent amateur artist, and treasured living in the Berkshires. George was a long-term communicant of St Francis Xavier Church in Pittsfield, MA.
A celebration of George’s life by his family and friends will take place on a future date yet to be determined. Funeral and burial services will consist of a Liturgy of Christian Burial at St. Anne Church in Chicopee, MA. Following the mass, the burial will take place with military honors at St. Jerome Cemetery in Holyoke, MA.
The Williamsburg Funeral Home was entrusted with his services. HampshireCremation.com