George Edward O’Connell, 82, of 118 Clinton Avenue, New Haven, died Wednesday, November 9 at Yale New Haven Hospital after a long illness.
George was born in Springfield, MA and resided in New Haven for the last 13 years. He was raised in Holyoke, MA and attended Sacred Heart High School where he played football for Holyoke Catholic as an offensive and defensive lineman. Upon graduation, George attended the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana where he received degrees in Sociology and Theology. He continued his education at the University of Minnesota where he received a Ph.D. and met his beloved wife of 21 years, Joan Cermak.
Prior to his retirement, George worked as a Professor at the University of Connecticut and as a Deputy Commissioner of Labor in New York State. His proudest moments professionally were leading a team tasked with ensuring safe and just working conditions for the working men and women of New York.
George was a member of Saint Thomas More, the Catholic Chapel at Yale University where he volunteered at the soup kitchen and made many friends among both his fellow volunteers and the guests who visited each Wednesday. He enjoyed reading, politics, being with family and friends, watching his granddaughters play softball, and rooting for the Fighting Irish sports teams.
Survivors include his son, George W. O’Connell; a daughter-in-law, Karen Wu O’Connell; and granddaughters Julia O’Connell and Audrey O’Connell, all of Milford; a brother, John F. O’Connell; a sister-in-law, Mary Anne O’Connell, both of New Haven; a sister, Mary Lou O’Connell, of Milford; a nephew, John F. O’Connell, Jr., of Milford; a niece, Margaret J. O’Connell, of Brunswick, ME; and a nephew, George E. O’Connell III, of Stratford.
Calling hours will be held between 8:30am and 10:30am on Thursday, November 17 at Celentano Funeral Home, 424 Elm St., New Haven, CT 06511. A funeral mass will follow at 11am on Thursday, November 17 at Saint Thomas More Catholic Chapel, 268 Park Street, New Haven, CT 06511.
Burial will be private in New York State.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in George’s name to Saint Thomas More, Soup Kitchen, 268 Park St., New Haven, CT 06511.