CONNELL Mrs. Irene B. (LeBel), 78, beloved wife for 59 years of Robert F. Connell, died peacefully Wednesday at the Kaplan Family Hospice House, of Danvers, surrounded by her family. Born on October 2, 1936 in Salem, she was the daughter of the late Raymond LeBel and Cora Horne LeBel. She was a graduate of Tewksbury High School, Class of 1954. Irene worked for John Hancock in Boston before getting married to Robert in 1956. While raising her six children, she worked in many retail establishments including Ann & Hope, Caldor, and Jordan Marsh to help support her family and also allowing her the flexibility of hours to be home after school for her children. She was an active member of the Salem Council on Aging, including her favorite activity-singing with the Golden Tones. Her artistic side was expressed throughout her adult life through her painting, stamping, making greeting cards, creating jewelry and designing quilts. As a loving grandmother she helped her grandchildren with their school assignments and enjoyed going to their various sporting events. For a number of years, Irene was also a volunteer at the Carlton Elementary School reading to young children. She was a dedicated communicant of the Immaculate Conception Church in Salem. A friendly outgoing and social woman, Irene enjoyed time with family and friends, and always brought a smile to all that she interacted with. Irene was extremely well liked and her love made people feel special. In addition to her husband, Irene is survived by her daughters, Barbara Baker and her husband, Steve Iskra of Beverly, Elizabeth Gauthier and her husband, Jeano of Salem; her sons, John Connell of Grafton, N.H., Timothy Connell of Salem and William Connell of Moorpark, Calif. She was predeceased by her son, Robert Connell, Jr.; her nine grandchildren, Jeffrey, Adrienne and Corey Baker, Maria, Theresa and Robert Connell, and Kyle, Michael and Ryan Gauthier. She was the sister of the late Raymond, Joseph and Sandra Lee LeBel. Additionally she was forever grateful to the Woodbury family of Boxford for their love and support in her teenage years. Her funeral service will be held in The O’Donnell Funeral Home, 46 Washington Sq., (At Salem Common), Salem, Sunday, Feb. 22, at 5 p.m. Relatives and friends invited. Burial is private. Visiting hours prior to the service from 2 to 5 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Plummer Home for Boys and Girls, 37 Winter Island Rd., Salem, MA 01970 would be appreciated. To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visitwww.odonnellfuneralservice.com.
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O'Donnell Funeral Home
46 Washington Square
Salem, MA 01970
Published in Boston Herald from Feb. 21 to Feb. 22, 2015