O'CONNELL, Thomas B. "Tommy"
Of Delray Beach, FL, formerly of Cohasset, MA passed away peaceful on March 20, 2014 near his home in Florida. He is survived by his wife Jean O'Connell, also of Delray Beach, and 2 brothers, Lee O'Connell, Peoria, IL and Bob O'Connell, Decatur, IL. ALso survived by 5 sons and their families, 11 grandchildren and 4 great-granddaughters. Born, September 26, 1930 in Chicago, IL, he grew up a star athlete in Chicago's Olympia Park area. He played for the city high school championship,then on to Notre Dame as a football recruit,then to the University of Illinois. Tom enjoyed all sports after playing football at the University of Illinois, where he led his team to a Big Ten title and then a Rose Bowl victory over Stanford in the first ever national televised college game. He had a brief career in the NFL and AFL playing for the Chicago Bears, Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills. All cut short due to injuries. He started for the Cleveland Browns in the 1957 NFL Championship Game. Tommy led the NFL in passing in 1957 and held an NFL record for yards per pass for many years. He also coached for a brief time at Drake University before leaving and getting into the investment business in Boston, MA. Tom also built 3 skating rinks in Hingham, MA that still provide enjoyment to the hockey and skating enthusiasts in the Boston area. He enjoyed watching all of his sons play football and all of the many other sports they were involved in. He enjoyed sailing and skiing and embraced the game of golf. Tommy would always put together the games at the course and made sure there was room for us all. He lived a full life of ups and downs, twists and turns. He was an optimist that never looked back and always looked forward. Rest in Peace Tommy O'Connell. Memorial service will be held on April 8 at 9:30 at Unity Church of Delray
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