Clara B. O'Connell
- March 18, 2011
- Rhode Island
of Clara's Passing
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“Mrs O'Connell was a neighbor of ours and we spent many a happy time with her and her family. May God Bless her Love McGuires of Beavertail
1 of 1 | Posted by: Ann C McGuire
Clara B. (“Claire”) O’Connell, 92, a longtime Jamestown resident, died on March 18th at St. Ann’s Hospital in Fall River, Massachusetts, after a sudden illness at her residence in Sakonnet Bay Manor in Tiverton. Born to George H. Anderson and Augusta Z. (Merwin) Anderson on November 30th, 1918 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, she was the fifth of eight children, (Grace, Barbara, Ruth, Natalie, George, Marian and Fredrick). All are deceased.
Her early years were spent in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, in the Berkshires. She was a graduate of William Cullen Bryant School and Searles High School. She was a graduate of Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School in New York City. Early employment included Secretary to the Diesel Division Chief of Mack Truck and Secretary at NE Line Company, an ammunition manufacturer in Connecticut during WWII.
She married Aviation Cadet, Army Air Corps, Thomas G. O’Connell of Sheffield, Massachusetts in Plattsburgh, NY on October, 6th, 1945.
After starting a four child family in Great Barrington, she moved to Jamestown in 1954, when her husband was employed as a Construction Inspector for the US Navy in Newport.
For many years she served as the Secretary to the Commodore of the Conanicut Yacht Club. She worked for eighteen years as the Secretary to Jamestown’s Superintendent of Schools, retiring in 1978. Her efficient work at the School Department resulted in numerous commendations from the Town and several Superintendents.
During her residence in Jamestown, the O’Connell family resided briefly on High Street, for six years on Standish Road, briefly on Bay View Drive next to the Bay Voyage Hotel while Mr. O’Connell constructed a new home, also on Bay View Drive. Mrs. O’Connell was active in community affairs, including Cub Scout Den Mother, PTA member and President. She was an avid bowler, participating in several women’s leagues. She was a communicant at St. Mark Catholic Church in Jamestown, but was always a supporter of the other Jamestown churches.
In 1978, The O’Connells moved to Covered Bridge in Lake Worth Florida, returning to their Beavertail cottage for the summers. In later years they spent a few summer weeks at a rented Beavertail home. They were able to celebrate their 50th and 60th wedding anniversaries with family and friends in Rhode Island.
While a Lake Worth resident, she became an enthusiastic and competent golfer and enjoyed league play.
In 2005, the O’Connells moved to Sakonnet Bay Manor in Tiverton, where Mrs. O’Connell remained a resident after Mr. O’Connell’s passing in October of 2006.
She leaves three children, Hon. Thomas O’Connell of Alexandria, Virginia, Sally Pezanko of Plymouth, Massachusetts, and Laurie Fischer, of N. Providence. A son, Timothy O’Connell, predeceased her in November, 2010. She leaves the following grand children: Andrew O’Connell of Orlando, Florida, Major Kevin O’Connell of Fort Belvoir, Virginia, Matthew O’Connell of Warwick, Eric O’Connell of Boston, Deborah O’Connell of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, Timothy Pezanko of New York City, Luke Pezanko of Roger Williams University in Bristol, Daniel Fischer of Cranston, Ryan Fischer of Providence and Lindsay Pettinelli of Camp Pendleton, California. Mrs. O’Connell had three great grandchildren.
A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Mark Church in Jamestown at 10 am Thursday, March 24th. A private burial will be held at St. Mark Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to St. Mark Catholic Church.