Gwyneth Pieta (Jones) O'Connell (1944 - 2013)

  • "I will always remember Gwyn from my many days at SEH."
    - JoAnn Wirth
  • "This is the women that inspired me and pushed me to be the..."
    - Dana Wasson-Robinson
  • "As your last living sister and brother let me take a moment..."
    - elene&kip Jones
  • "Gwen, I did not know you well but I learned a long time ago..."
  • "We send my love to the family. We love and miss Gwyn very..."
    - Sherita Alai

Gwyneth Pieta (Jones) O'Connell

1944 - 2013

On Thursday, March 28, 2013 well known teacher, Gwyneth O'Connell, passed away. She was surrounded by family including her husband of 44 years.

Born in Portland, Oregon November 25, 1944, Gwyneth grew up in McMinnville, Woodburn, Elkton, Newport, and Eugene. She was a descendent of the Madison Lafayette branch of the S.W.R. Jones pioneer family that arrived by wagon train on the Oregon Trail in 1853.

Gwyneth attended South Eugene High School and was inspired by art teacher Larry Goldade to follow her interest in art and teaching.

Gwyneth received her BS Degree in 1966 in Art Education and her MFA in Graphic Arts in 1968 from the University of Oregon. Her major advisor was art professor David Foster as well as professor Sid White.

As an artist she produced work in painting, batik, wood carving, photography, etching, lithography and calligraphy. She received the Maude I. Kerns award for Outstanding Student in Art Education in 1966. Gwyneth exhibited her work at the University in Eugene, Mt. Angel, Ontario, Junction City, and in a recent nationwide traveling exhibit "Sketchbook Project" organized by Art House in Brooklyn, NY.

Gwyneth taught at Tongue Point Job Corps in Astoria, Oregon, University of Oregon, Lane Community College, Treasure Valley Community College, Madison, Cal Young, and Roosevelt Middle Schools, Ellis Parker and Condon Elementary Schools, Super Summers, Maude Kerns Art Center, and then for 18 years as Visual Arts teacher at South Eugene High School.

Her students and their achievements were her pride. They went on to major art schools all over the USA including Cooper Union in New York, Chicago Art Institute, California College of the Arts, Brooks Institute, Savannah College of Art and Design, and the University of Oregon.

Gwyneth was a finalist for the Maude I. Kerns Dutchess Award and in 1997 she received the "Oregon Art Educator of the Year" award. One of her drawings was published in A TASTE OF OREGON cookbook and on the cover of the Handbook of Human Nature by Marv Krenk.

Gwyneth taught drawing, painting, ceramics, graphic design, and animation and her students produced outstanding artwork. It was exhibited regionally and won numerous awards. She was praised by the director of the International Memory Project.

Gwyneth was President of American Association of University Women, Eugene Branch 2002-2004 and Lifetime Girl Scout and leader of 3 troops including Troop 396. She was deeply involved in social issues in her community and instilled in her children the love of helping others.

Gwyneth was preceded in death by her parents Ellis and Helen Jones, and her brother, Ellis (Rick) Jones. She is survived by her husband Kenneth; her children, Anneka E. McMillen and her husband Jesse; Marlika M. O'Connell; Sean D. O'Connell and his wife Breanna and three grandchildren, Saffron, Fiona, and Bodie all of Oregon. Gwyneth is also survived by her brother Kip Jones of Scottsdale, Arizona, sister Elene Jones of Eugene.

A Celebration of Life will be held at South Eugene High School Auditorium, 5:30 pm, April 21, 2013. Contributions can be made to the Kenneth and Gwyneth O'Connell Art Materials Fund at the University of Oregon Foundation and Habitat for Humanity

Published in Eugene Register-Guard on Apr. 7, 2013
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