William J. “Bill” O’Connell

January 6, 2019

William J. “Bill” O’Connell
U.S. Veteran

US Army

Korean War

William J. “Bill” O’Connell  –  in Woburn, January 6th, 2019.  Beloved husband of the late Mildred (Cunneen) O’Connell.  Cherished father of Maureen C. Cavanaugh, her husband David of Bradford, William J. O’Connell, Jr., his wife Kimberly of NH, and Thomas P. O’Connell, his wife Lynn of Woburn. Dear brother of the late John O’Connell.  Devoted “Papa” of Meaghan, Colleen, Gregory, Brian, Kerri, Thomas Jr., and Stephanie. And great “Papa” of Jacob, Theo, Lilly, and Josh. Bill was also a loving uncle to many wonderful nieces and nephews.  A Funeral will be held from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, Friday, January 11th at 10 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Barbara’s Church, 138 Cambridge Road, Woburn, at 11.  Interment in Woodbrook Cemetery, Woburn. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to calling hours, Thursday evening from 4-7 p.m. Remembrances may be made in Bill’s honor to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital, PO Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38101-9908, or to the Merrimack Valley Hospice, Home Health Foundation, 360 Merrimack Street, Bldg#9, Lawrence, MA 01843.

William J. “Bill” O’Connell, a longtime resident of Woburn, died peacefully, January 6th at his daughters’ home in Bradford, with his family by his side.  He was the beloved husband of 50 years to the late Mildred (Cunneen) O’Connell.  

Born in Malden, Bill was raised in Medford, Bill the son of the late John and Catherine (Murray) O’Connell. He was a proud graduate of Medford High School, graduating with the Class of 1946. A  talented athlete all throughout his high school years, Bill excelled in baseball and was an outstanding player on the team. After graduation, Bill enlisted in the US Army and served during the Korean War. He also continued playing baseball with the Army League as a Right Fielder.

For over 47 years, Bill worked as a milk delivery man for Hood Dairy, until retiring at 62 years of age.

Bill was an avid sports fan, and throughout his lifetime was a follower of all the major sports here in Boston.  But even more important than those team, Bill was an active follower of any and all sports his children played and when the grandchildren came along, there was not any game he missed. And he would often show up at practices!   “Papa” drove all over to watch them at the various high schools in Bradford, NH and Woburn.  He followed onto their colleges in VT, NH, MA, and CT. Swimming, lacrosse, basketball, baseball, softball, and football, he was there for it all, right up front cheering them on! He even was named “Team Papa” for the St. Joseph’s College Soccer team. “Papa” passed down to all his grandchildren, his love and dedication to sports and family. And they have continued following his footsteps.  Several are now coaches themselves and yes, he continued on, watching them coach!

From 1933-1970 Bill attended every Thanksgiving game at his Alma Mater, Medford High School. When his son began playing at Woburn High School in 1970, he began attending WHS Thanksgiving Games and when the grandchildren came, he took them all. And this year, his grandchildren took him to the game, with special accommodations. He was just so happy!

Bill and his wife had the wonderful pleasure of being able to travel during their retirement.  Many trips were made to Ireland to visit with family, Hawaii, Florida and up and down the eastern sea coast, enjoying every minute.

Bill was a strong, good natured, resilient, and an independent man who lived at home, until this September, when he became ill. He lived life to the fullest and had a great sense of humor throughout. Family was the top priority in his life and he would take time to listen and help them through life’s events, the good times and maybe not so good, as well as supported them, in everything they did!! Bill will be deeply missed and remembered with great fondness.

Cherished father of Maureen C. Cavanaugh, her husband David of Bradford, William J. O’Connell, Jr., his wife Kimberly of NH, and Thomas P. O’Connell, his wife Lynn of Woburn. Dear brother of the late John O’Connell.  Devoted “Papa” of Meaghan, Colleen, Gregory, Brian, Kerri, Thomas Jr., and Stephanie. And great “Papa” of Jacob, Theo, Lilly, and Josh. Bill was also a loving uncle to many wonderful nieces and nephews.  

A Funeral will be held from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, Friday, January 11th at 10 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Barbara’s Church, 138 Cambridge Road, Woburn, at 11. Interment in Woodbrook Cemetery, Woburn. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to calling hours, Thursday evening from 4-7 p.m. Remembrances may be made in Bill’s honor to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital, PO Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38101-9908, or to the Merrimack Valley Hospice, Home Health Foundation, 360 Merrimack Street, Bldg#9, Lawrence, MA 01843.

 

A Funeral will be held from the Lynch-Cantillon Funeral Home, Friday, January 11th at 10 a.m. followed by a Funeral Mass in St. Barbara’s Church, 138 Cambridge Road, Woburn, at 11. Interment in Woodbrook Cemetery, Woburn. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to calling hours, Thursday evening from 4-7 p.m. Remembrances may be made in Bill’s honor to the St. Jude Children’s Hospital, PO Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38101-9908, or to the Merrimack Valley Hospice, Home Health Foundation, 360 Merrimack Street, Bldg#9, Lawrence, MA 01843.

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  1. charles culhane

    O’Connell family,

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. The ones we love are never gone but live within our hearts. May you know peace and comfort.

    God bless,

    The Culhanes

  2. Bill was one of the best people I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. I will miss him dearly. My thought and prayers go out to the family. RIP Bill

  3. JoAnne Harriman

    Bill will be missed by all who knew him. You are a loving and caring family which is a direct reflection of Millie & Bill. May all your wonderful memories and strong faith bring you peace and help you thru this difficult time.
    Love to you all JoAnne

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