• Geo. H. Lewis & Sons Funeral Directors
    Houston, TX
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John Donald "Jack" O'Connell
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October 21, 2013
Hi Cathy,Pat & Michael, I so sorry to hear about Mr. O'Connell. I miss you guys and I pray to see you again. I can only remember the time we traveled to Illinios. From Dallas, to Memphis, to Des Plaines, Mr O'Connell treated me as if I was one of hisa own children. He referred me to my first job after college at Wells Fargo Bank. That gave me my career in accounting. May God Bless you all and thank you for the memories. Love Canzadie Reed Johnson
March 04, 2013
Pat, I just found out about your Dad. Thoughts and prayers to your entire family. Your Dad was a wonderful man and an inspiration to all. There just aren't many Jacks out there - he was a true gentleman and a remarkable man. He will be remembered for so many things and I hope all those good memories will bring joy to your heart instead of the sadness that must be overwhelming now. What a wonderfully written obituary and of course I want to see the entire thing! I will always remember the days at The Palm, the close bond you and your Dad had, and his wonderful sense of humor. What a life well-lived and we can all learn so much from him. I was blessed to have known him. He is watching over you and the entire family from heaven. I am sorry to have missed the service.
January 15, 2013
My name is Jim Francis. I was Bum Bright's partner and negotiated the Cowboys deal with Jack. First, he was a great negotiator....one of the two or three best that I have ever met...and I have dealt with a lot. Second, he was smart as can be. Third, he was a kind and gentle man....a real gentleman. Finally, Jack was fiercely loyal to Mr. Murchison, a GREAT fiduciary. After doing that deal, I would have trusted Jack with my life; moreover, I would have trusted Jack with my childrens' lives. He was the best, the very best. I have thought of Jack many times over the last 30 or so years. He was a great man. I send my heartfelt condolences to his family. Sincerely, Jim Francis jfranci454@aol.com
January 12, 2013
Light the way, Brother Jack! We'll all meet again in the Big Astrodome in The Sky someday. Save me a Seat. Your friend,
Dene Hofheinz Anton
January 12, 2013
I am late to learn that Jack went to Heaven last week. I remember like it was yesterday when he and his family moved to Houston from Chicago.It was Thanksgiving: a joyful time for both families.That CHristmas I complimented the O'Connell CHristmas tree at their home in Tanglewood. “I lLOVE these ornate balls,” I chirped. Jack with his dry wit and without missing a beat said, “WE call them ORNAMENTS.' It was the beginning of many laughs. We send our love to Denise,Pat, Cathy, Michael and their families. All who were blessed to know him have a very special angel watching over us now. Cheers to him!
Forever Friends,
Dene Hofheinz Anton
January 08, 2013
He was the best mentor, business rabbi or good friend that I could have ever asked or worked for. He was one of the most interesting people I've ever known. Every time I heard...."bottom line" I knew the conversation was over. My favorite story was the first time we met we were at The Palm and as I looked around and saw all the characatures I said.....".you would have to have a pretty big ego to be on these walls.". Not knowing his face was about 3 feet to my right on the wall.......he said what do you think of this one? Best answer I could come up with was......"nice tie!" We were friends for life and what had been a job before became a labor of love when working for Mr. O. I'll miss him and the brown whiskey. JT
January 07, 2013
To all who have made such kind and wonderful comments about Dad in this guestbook, thank you so much and God Bless you. I so wish to have the opportunity to meet some of our cousins in the Bidwill, Regan and Flannery family's. I'm sure there are some great folks in those families and it would have been great fun to have known you all. Maybe we'll have the opportunity to meet some day.

For the record, I wrote Dad's obituary and I'll be happy to email anyone a copy of my original draft, which included more history and was twice as long as the published version. Just send me your email and I'll forward you a copy.

My Dad was always my hero, I admired him so much and I knew him so very well. For a few years or more after his divorce from my Mother, Carol, Dad and I spent a considerable amount of time together. We would meet at the Palm Restaurant after work many evenings and have drinks together with other friends, discuss the day and generally solve or debate the current world issues. I can't tell you how much fun we both had. During those days, we were best friends. We had so many common friends, memories, experiences, etc. that we could literally finish each others sentences. We also shared a similar sense of humor. Those were great times and I'll always cherish the fun we had together.

I knew almost all of Dad's friends and work acquaintences over the years. I can't tell you how many of those folks went out of there way to tell me how much they admired Dad. It was so neat being his oldest son.

Dad's most important goal in life was to gain entry to Heaven. I'm certain he accomplished this goal. As much as I'll miss Dad, I'm so very comforted by my belief he's in Heaven and no longer suffering aches and pains or the frustration and confusion of dementia. Dad's funeral service at St. Michael's Church here in Houston was very well attended and very special. As I said in my brief comments about Dad, "Dad was always worried about attendence during his Astrodome days and he would have been very pleased with the attendence at his funeral service". Many loved ones and great people showed up. I'll always be grateful to those who came to pay their respects to Dad and play a role in his wonderful send off. Thank you.

Dad had a wonderful life that he truly enjoyed. He got to play in the big leagues, participate in some record setting business transactions, work with some fabulous people and be involved in many very special events. He loved every minute of those great times. Dad had a great nine innings. I don't think the Lord made very many Jack O'Connell's, he will be sorely missed and never forgotten. Thank you all again for your nice comments about Dad. He was so special! May God Bless all who read this. Goodbye Dad. I'm going to do my best to get myself to Heaven so I can see you again. Love Always Pat
January 06, 2013
Denise
I am Jack's oldest living cousin. He was always such a very polite & kind Boy. My fondest memories of him is when we would go to three beaches every Summer with the Bidwills, O'Connells and Regans to Jackson Park beach, North Ave beach & Oak Street beach. We also went to the Des Plaines pool every summer. Thuough the years i have Always been so proud of Jack. He will be missed and always kept in our prayers.
January 06, 2013
My cousin Jack was always someone I looked up to!!! May the peace of God be with all of his family & friends. We know he's up there watching over all of us.
Donna Griffin (Regan).
January 06, 2013
RIP Uncle Jack. Condolences to his family.
Janis Regan Mullinax
January 05, 2013
I had the pleasure of being Mr. O'Connell's secretary and typing his book for him as he wrote it. He was the most kind and wonderful person I have ever known.
Mary K. Wright
January 05, 2013
Dear Denise, I was so sorry to hear about Jack. I always enjoyed being with him. My thoughts and prayers go out to you and the rest of his family. May God keep you in his loving embrace during this difficult time.
January 05, 2013
Before Dad (Bob Regan) died last year, he always mentioned Uncle Jack's Nine Innings Book. Uncle Jack was very special to Dad as was his book. My father seemed to know things of the Spirit and knew Uncle Jack was blessed. Uncle Jack was known to visit Hope, AR where I had the privilege of knowing him. He is a special man and he will be missed. God Bless him and his family.
January 05, 2013
Denise,
Jack was one of a kind! Wonderful sense of humor and an excellent businessman. He'll be missed.
January 05, 2013
I'm sorry to hear about the O'Connell family loss. My heartfelt sympathies to the family of this great man. "Uncle" Jack was my mentor and helped me secure my first job in Las Vegas. He was so kind to me and taught me invaluable lessons that I will never forget, like "with right there is might". His passing is a tragedy not just for the O'Connell family, but for the rest of us because he embodied integrity and character, traits that will be sorely missed. May God rest your soul Uncle Jack. See you in the Clubhouse.
January 04, 2013
To the family of Jack O'Connell I would like to convey my condolences. "Father O'Connell," as I used to call him, will always be apart of my vivid memories of Astrodomain in the 1960s and '70s. He was the glue needed to mesh all of Judge Hofheinz's disparate entities together, from the park, to the hotels, to the circus, to the who-knew-what-would-come-next in those early days. Always calm and collected, Jack was always the one we turned to in time of crisis, whether it be business or personal. He was the epitome of a "trusted friend" to me then and for many decades afterward. His many kindnesses over the years will never be forgotten and I believe I was blessed to have had the opportunity to know him.
January 04, 2013
"What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us." ~Helen Keller

Denise, please know that you are being held in the arms of angels. Peace be with you.
January 04, 2013
Denise, big Jack was such a neat guy and we will miss him but not forget him. He represents a time in America when your word was you bond. They just don't make um like Jack any more.
A wonderful new article. We learned so must more about Jack that we did not know; wow, what a great life he lived.
Hope to see you soon. Your friends
Sally and Joe
January 04, 2013
Denise,

Pam and I were just talking about you two a couple of days ago and are very saddened to learn of his passing this past Wednesday. Please know that you and the rest of Jack's family are in our thoughts and prayers. May Jack rest in the peace of Christ his savior.
January 04, 2013
A friend and always a kind gentleman to all. He played a big part in my life and will always be remembered. Love to Jack's family.
January 04, 2013
I had the privilege of being Jack's assistant soon after he arrived at HSA in 1865. It proved to be an asset and a source of pride my entire life. Thanks for everything and may he rest in peace.
TONY SIEGLE San Francisco
January 04, 2013
Dear Pat, Cathy, and Mike, As your dad's secretary at the Astrodome and then O'Connell & Co., I was inspired by and learned from his professionalism and attention to detail. His life lesson for me, however, was exhibited most by his humanity. I knew I was fortunate to have him in my life and he remained my friend and inspiration. I am so sorry for your loss. God bless you.
Phyllis Polk Liscum (Yorktown, VA)
January 03, 2013
Dear O"Connell family. I am Jack's youngest cousin. He has been a wonderful mentor to myself and all the Bidwill family. How proud I always was to say my cousin ran McCorrmick Place and opened the Houston Astrodome. Thanks to Denise for all the care she gave him these past years. May he rest in peace! Love, Marie Bidwill Nannini
January 03, 2013
Jack was "The True Gentlman" We we blessd to know him!
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