Constituents Deceased list

William Patrick O’Connell Jr. M.A. ’75 D.Min. ’78 was born to William Patrick Sr. and Leonore Elizabeth (Garrod) O’Connell in Seattle on Dec. 9, 1935. After graduating from Seattle Prep in 1953, William attended Seattle University, where he was a member of the ROTC honorary society and Alpha Omega service fraternity. He joined the Jesuits in 1956 in Sheridan, Oregon, before moving to Mt. St. Michael’s in Spokane, Washington. He earned a B.A. in English and a Ph.L. in philosophy at Gonzaga University, followed by four years of theology studies at Alma College in California. William earned a master’s of sacred theology and an M.A. in counseling at SCU. He received his license in marriage, child, and family counseling in 1986 and served as a counselor until 2001. William’s first job was that of paperboy for The Seattle Times. Later he had summer jobs at Universal Steel Works and various canneries in Alaska, including working on fish traps for his godfather, Denis Ryan, outside Ketchikan, Alaska. These were his coming-of-age months as he worked alongside grown men in difficult conditions. While studying at Seattle University, William worked in circulation at Catholic Northwest Progress. As a Jesuit seminarian, William taught at Gonzaga Prep and supervised the school paper. In 1969, William left the Jesuits and worked as director of religious education for St. Nicholas Parish in Los Altos. Subsequently, William taught English and business, first at Los Altos High and later at Mountain View High. He retired in 1991. William’s retirement was spent active in church ministries, environmental projects, social justice, and community organizing for emergency preparedness. He made several trips to Ft. Benning, Georgia, to protest the School of the Americas. William was instrumental in bringing two nonprofit organizations to Santa Clara County. The first, Birthright, provides support for pregnant women; the second, South Bay Autism Services, brought the TEACCH model (which enables teachers and parents to work effectively with children with autism and other communication disorders) from the University of North Carolina to the Bay Area. While William was teaching a course for parents of children to receive first communion at St. Nicholas, he met Carol (Carrillo) Fuller, who was to become his first wife. Carol had three children from a previous marriage: Deidre, Peter, and Ian. William and Carol had two children of their own: Kerry Elizabeth and Kelsey Megan. William and Carol divorced in 1981. In 1990, at a Halloween Dance in Palo Alto, William (wearing a dragon mask) met Donna Lee (Andersen) Vennard (dressed as Mother Goose). They were married in 1992. He died in San Jose Nov. 29, 2018, and is survived by his wife Donna; siblings Mary Joan, Maureen and John O’Connell; daughters Kerry and Kelsey; stepchildren Deidre and Ian Fuller and Suzy (Vennard) Halberstadt; his wonderful grandchildren Justine (Bullwinkle Vennard) and husband Dave Surrey, Hannah and Sterling Halberstadt; great-granddaughter, Audrey Surrey; nephews John Jr. and Will O’Connell; and grandnephew Leo O’Connell.

30 Jan 2019