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Charles E. "Chuck" O'CONNELL

1931 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Charles E. "Chuck" O'CONNELL Obituary
O'CONNELL, Charles E. "Chuck"

Charles E. O'Connell (Chuck), age 83, passed away on August 22, 2014 in Austin, Texas following a lengthy illness.

Chuck was a wonderful and loving husband to Mary, his wife of 59 years; a devoted and wise father who gave generously of himself to his children; and a doting grandfather. Chuck loved taking good care of his family, and he did it well. He was the first to offer a hand, provide sound advice or lend an ear when that was all that was needed. He was a man of integrity, generosity, and loyalty. His word was golden. He believed hard work paid off and he challenged his children to always do their best, leading by example. Chuck was a successful businessman, a world traveler, an avid golfer, and an intelligent man who seemed to know something about everything.

Chuck was born on July 9, 1931 in Kansas City, Missouri, the youngest of nine children born to Dr. Paul James and Mary Louise Gangel O'Connell. He graduated from Rockhurst High School and attended the University of Kansas before joining the Coast Guard during the Korean Conflict, where he jokingly said he helped keep the US borders safe during his assigned tour of duty patrolling the Mississippi River. But that assignment in St Louis was destiny, because it was there he met the love of his life, Mary Catherine Cullen. After completing his military duty, Chuck returned to KU to complete his degree and he and Mary were married the week after graduation in June 1955.

Chuck worked almost his entire career in the chemical business. First, with Spencer Chemical in Chicago and Kansas City and later with Gulf Oil in Houston, where he retired as the Senior Vice President of the Chemical Division. Chuck enjoyed a second career in Washington D.C. as the President of the Society of Plastics Industries. While he achieved noted success in business, his colleagues and customers would remember Chuck most for being a man of his word.

After retiring at age 58 to enjoy life together, Chuck and Mary moved to Austin where they took classes at the University of Texas, continued to travel the world, and played golf with friends at Austin Country Club. He enjoyed a dry martini, a good joke, taking walks in the rain, reading books, and completing the New York Times crossword puzzle.

Chuck is survived by, and will be terribly missed by, his wife Mary; his five children Mary Ellington, Carrie Wood, Jim O'Connell, Katie O'Connell and Tracy O'Connell; and his two grandchildren Mackie and Kendall Wood. He is also survived by his sons-in-law Kevin Ellington and Tom Wood, his daughter-in-law Lainie O'Connell, and his brother, Gerald O'Connell and wife Anna Lee, and numerous nieces and nephews. A private Mass will be held for the family and his remains will be interred at a later date at his favorite spot in the mountains of North Carolina. May he rest in peace.
Published in Austin American-Statesman from Aug. 27 to Aug. 28, 2014
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