August 11, 2004 - January 17, 2021
Warriors Mark, Pennsylvania - On Sunday the 17th, David Michael Gordon O'Connell lost his battle with depression and took his own life. David was a kind, loving young man that brought smiles to all who knew him. Dave had the courage to be his own person and stand up for others. He gave selflessly while volunteering for the Builder's Association of Central PA, State College Downtown Rotary, and other local charities.
As a Boy Scout with State College Troop 32, he loved the outdoors and mentoring young scouts. His natural leadership ability shown through to peers and adults alike. He embodied the Scout Law.
Dave fulfilled his lifelong dream of being a fire fighter when he joined the Port Matilda Volunteer Fire Company as a Jr. Fire Fighter. In 2020 he was awarded Rookie of the Year by the Company.
He was a wonderful son that made us so very proud. Dave cherished his relationship with his brothers, loved his cousins, and honored his aunt, uncles, and grandparents. His greatest joy was the time spent with his niece, Paislee. Dave "adopted" many families that he loved and touched during his brief time on Earth.
He is survived by parents, Don and Laurie, brothers Nick and Ben, sister-in-law Sierra, niece Paislee, great grandmothers Carolyn McLain and Loretta Jane Confer, grandma Edie Sicher, Aunts Crystal Nations and Sara and her husband Denny Shultz, cousins Hunter, Molly, Ian, and Hannah, and so many others too numerous to list. He was proceeded in death by grandparents Brenda and Gary Brown and David Sicher.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday January 30th from 1pm to 4pm at the Port Matilda Volunteer Fire Company. Family and friends are welcome to come and go as they please during that time.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that you post on your social media about suicide awareness and mental health. Stigmatized issues that need brought to light and discussed so others may find the help they need.
Published in Centre Daily Times on Jan. 20, 2021.