Helen O'Connell

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BERLIN - Helen (Brown) O'Connell, 98, of 250 Kensington Road, Berlin died Saturday, June 14, 2014, at the Hospital of Central CT. Helen was a Christian. She was the oldest member of Berlin Congregational Church and served as a Deaconess, choir member and volunteered in the church until she was 95. Her love of God, family and music filled her life with joy. She was a piano teacher for 68 years. Some of her students have gone on to be teachers, concert pianists, and professional musicians. She was very active in the Berlin and Pomona Grange, local scouting, and she also started the first PTA. She loved participating as the director of local musical shows. She and her husband started the first taxi service in Berlin and she was the first women taxi driver in the State of Connecticut. She was predeceased by her husband John; son, John; three sisters, Hazel Sheldon, Nellie Rich, and Laura Conger; and one brother, Earl Brown.

She is survived by her daughter, Patty Strazzulla and husband, David, of Berlin; her son, Edward O'Connell and wife, Linda, of New Britain; a sister, Shirley Recck, of Berlin; a daughter in-law, Jean Munson and her husband, Skip, of Kensington; nine grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and many nieces and nephews.

Her family wishes to express our deepest gratitude to Mary Cunningham and Colleen Kim of Berlin Housing Authority, Antoinette Pajor Town of Berlin, Berlin VNA, Maura Palumbo of Connecticut Community Care Inc. Staff of Hospital of Central CT and Staff of Apple Healthcare Cromwell, Christine Carrier, Brook Barbero, Colette Wilson, Connie Compagnone, Elizabeth Bledsoe, Michele Smith and Lois Arena for their support and loving care. A special thanks to her dear friends at Marjorie Moore Village who brightened her every day.

A service celebrating her life was held on Sunday, June 22, at Berlin Congregational Church, Worthington Ridge, Berlin. Burial took place in Maple Cemetery following the celebration service. A reception was followed at Berlin Congregational Church. We invited her past students and families to join us in this celebration of her life and love of music. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Berlin Congregational Church Helen O'Connell Music Fund. Erickson-Hansen Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Funeral Home
Erickson-Hansen Funeral Home
411 South Main Street New Britain, CT 06051-3515
(860) 229-5676
Published in Berlin Citizen on June 26, 2014
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