William Joseph "Bill" O'Connell, 76, of Ennis passed away May 1, 2007, at the home of his daughter in Scottsdale, Ariz.
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Bill was born Nov. 13, 1930, in North Bergen, N.J., to William and Virginia (Marra) O'Connell. He was raised and attended school in Union City, N.J. Shortly after school he entered the U.S. Navy, serving from 1949 to 1953 as a radio operator.
He married Eileen Bulfin on Oct. 4, 1952, in New Brunswick, N.J.
After the service he returned to Saddlebrook, N.J., and worked for the federal government Civil Service in the area of defense contracts. While in New Jersey he traveled often to the Madison Valley to fish the Madison and in 1963 moved his family to Salt Lake City, Utah, to enjoy the life "out West."
He continued to work for the federal government while in Salt Lake City and to vacation in the Madison Valley. In the early 1970s he bought a home in Jeffers and, after retiring in 1979, lived most of the year in Jeffers.
About five years ago he moved into Ennis and, due to health, recently lived in Scottsdale with his daughter.
He foremost loved fishing, golfing, cooking and playing a hand of cards. After retiring he often worked as a guide on the Madison River and as a guide in the Florida Keys during the winter. He was very proud of receiving his Captain's license in Florida.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother-in-law, Fred Bochetti.
Survivors include his daughters Mary Ellen Basso and Laurie Langford; son-in-law Martin Langford; grandchildren Justin Basso, Anna Langford and Lily Langford; sister Marilyn Bochetti and many great friends.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 10, at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Ennis, with Deacon Robert Lane officiating. Interment with military honors will follow in the Madison Valley cemetery in Ennis.
The family will be receiving friends during the visitation Wednesday evening at the K&L Mortuary Chapel in Ennis from 6 to 8 p.m.
K & L Mortuaries
109 West Second
Whitehall, MT 59759
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on May 6, 2007