Ronald Leroy O’Connell (1931 - 2020)

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Service Information
Brown Funeral Home
5430 West Gulf to Lake
Crystal River, FL
Monday, Feb. 3, 2020
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Brown Funeral Home
Lecanto, FL
Funeral Mass
Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020
10:00 AM
St. Benedict Catholic Church
Crystal River, FL

Major Ronald Leroy O'Connell, U.S.A.F., Retired
Ronald Leroy O'Connell, age 88, of Crystal River, FL, passed away January 24, 2020 at the Bay Pines V.A. Hospital in St. Petersburg, FL. He was adored and will be deeply missed by his family. Ronald was born August 31, 1931 in Ann Arbor, MI to Raymond L. and Irene M. (Deighton) O'Connell. Ronald served 20 years in the U.S. Air Force as a pilot, retiring in 1972 with the rank of Major. He moved to Crystal River in 1978 when he assisted in the opening of Raymond James Financial. A few years later he was the founder of O'Connell Financial along with his son Brian. He was a member of the St. Benedict Catholic Church, a member of the Kings Bay Rotary Club, a Search and Rescue Pilot for the U.S. Coast Guard promoted to Lieutenant Colonel, and a Pilot for the U.S. Civil Air Patrol Search and Rescue Squad, all out of Crystal River, FL. Ron received several Awards, Medals of Honor and Decorations with fellow crewmembers for heroic deeds and saving lives.
Ron was a caring, devoted and loving husband to his wife of 66 years in which the past 11 years he has devoted his entire time taking care of her during her struggles with dementia. Ron also cared for, loved, mentored and provided for his family in countless ways.
Ron found his most enjoyment flying as a pilot and has stated many times how "At Peace" he felt while flying. He took every opportunity he could to enjoy the skies! It was his pleasure to take family and friends for joy rides. He taught his sons to fly along with many others. His home and cabin were always open for family and friends, and sometimes even strangers for a place to stay, a place to vacation, a ball game get together and simply to come by for a cup of coffee (or a Klondike bar). He was truly one of a kind!
Survived by his wife of 66 years, Lois Patricia (Carson) O'Connell; Children, Michael & wife Clara, Debra, Brian, Karen & husband Michael Byram, Sharon, Mark, eight (8) Grandchildren, six (6) Step-Grandchildren, four (4) Great Grandchildren, and eight (8) Step-Great Grandchildren.
Family will be receiving friends and extended family on Monday February 3, 2020 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the Brown Funeral Home in Lecanto, FL 352-795-0111. Mass will be offered at 10 A.M. on Tuesday February 4, 2020 at St. Benedict Catholic Church in Crystal River, FL. Burial will follow at the Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, FL.
"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived." –Patton
"What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him"- 1 Corinthians 2:9
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Published in Citrus County Chronicle on Jan. 31, 2020
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