Jack O’Connell, 70, passed away at home on Saturday, July 11, 2015, surrounded by his loving family.

He was born on September 2, 1944, in Plymouth, WI, to Bernard and Catherine (Deegan) O’Connell. Jack graduated from Plymouth High School in 1962, and received his BS Degree in Education at UW Madison in 1966.

He then joined the Peace Corps and was a teacher in Kandahar, Afghanistan for two years. Jack received his Master’s of Education Degree from the University of Missouri in 1970 and his Education Specialist Degree from UW Stout in 1981. From 1971 to 1976 he was employed at Indianhead Technical College in New Richmond, WI. He then worked at Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC) from 1976 until he retired as Dean of Education and Training in September of 2001.

Jack was a one of a kind man who was filled with an upbeat personality, wonderful sense of humor and loving spirit. He devoted his entire life to helping others. He volunteered often in the community at the Sojourner House, Beacon House, Community Table and the Food Pantry. He went on two missions to Haiti to help sick children in orphanages. Jack was also very involved with St. Patrick’s/ Sacred Heart Church, Regis Catholic Schools and was active with helping the Hmong community when they moved into Eau Claire. He was one of the leaders in establishing Literacy Volunteers of America and was a great advocate for his students and staff at CVTC.

Jack married Ellen Fullerton on November 27, 1971, in Mitchell, WI. They had a wonderful fun-filled marriage that was spent making memories with family and countless friends. Jack and Ellen loved to travel and were fortunate to see a variety of amazing locations throughout the world. They were blessed with two sons, Sean and Timothy, and cherished every moment with them and their families. Jack and his sons had a wonderful tradition of attending Green Bay Packer Playoff games at Lambeau Field and made it to five games total. Jack was a loving papa of four beautiful granddaughters whom he treasured and adored deeply. His four “sweet little angels” will miss him immensely. He would do anything for his family. He was a devoted brother and guardian to his sister Maureen for many years. Jack leaves an incredible legacy and will never be forgotten.

Jack is survived by his loving wife of 43 years, Ellen; two sons, Sean (Cari) and their children Sabrienne and Tavia, and Timothy (Sarah) and their daughters Adelyn and Avery Grace; brother, Jim; sisters, Mary and Maureen; and also by many nieces, nephews and other family.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sister-in-law, Sheila Fullerton; and his niece, Ella Fullerton.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held at 11 a.m. on Monday, July 20, 2015, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 322 Fulton St. in Eau Claire, with Father George Thayilkuzhithottu officiating. Visitation was held from 4 to 7 p.m., on Sunday, July 19, 2015, at Lenmark-Gomsrud- Linn Funeral Home, 814 First Ave. in Eau Claire, and again one hour prior to the Mass on Monday at the church. Burial will be at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Eau Claire.

A Celebration of Life was held at The Florian Gardens, 2340 Lorch Ave., Eau Claire beginning at 1:30 pm on Monday, July 20, 2015.

The family would like to thank St. Joseph’s Palliative and Hospice Care as well as Sacred Heart Regional Cancer Center, Dr. Naqvi and Dr. Schifeling for their wonderful care.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Children’s Hospital of Minneapolis or the charity of your choice.

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