William “Bill” O'Connell, 86, of Wall, N.J., passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, February 13, 2018.
Bill was born in Jersey City on January 3, 1932 to William and Ellen (Walsh) O'Connell, proud Irish immigrants from Macoom, County Cork. He graduated from St. Peter's Prep, Jersey City. Bill joined the US Army in 1951, later serving as a Gunnery Sergeant in The Korean Conflict.
He joined the Jersey City Police Dept. in 1958 serving in both patrol units and communications, finishing his career as Sergeant in charge of the Police Fiscal Unit, serving a total of 26 years.
He then managed The Jersey City Police Federal Credit Union for ten years. He was a member of the Jersey City Policeman's Benevolent Assoc., The Fraternal Order of Police, Police Superiors and served as Commander of the JC Police VFW Post 810. He attended Rutgers University and Seton Hall College. He was Vice-President and Treasurer of The Jerry Lynch Assoc., Grand Marshall of the 2000 Belmar St. Patrick's Day Parade, becoming its Co-Chairman in 2005 until 2008. He then became treasurer until December 2017. He also was a member of The Retired Police and Firemen's Assoc. of Ocean County, VFW Post 1838 in Manasquan and The American Legion Post 136 in Neptune.
He was “Irishman of the Year of 1982” for Jersey City Police Emerald Society. He was a member of Pride of Wall Seniors.
Bill was a reader in St. Joseph's Church, Jersey City. He was a coach and manager for many years in the Westside Little League and a swim team volunteer for the YMCA.
He is survived by his lovely wife of 60 years Eileen (Allen) O'Connell and his two sons, Kevin Patrick (Lt., JCPD, Ret.) (Julianne) O'Connell of Jersey City and Timothy Allen (Monica) O'Connell of Roswell, Georgia. He was predeceased by sons, Brian Gerard O'Connell in 1984 and Sean William O'Connell in 2016. He was also predeceased was his sister Ellen Patricia Colligan in 1995, sister-in-law Mary Andre and brother-in-law Dennis Patrick Colligan.
Also surviving are his ten grandchildren Daniel, Michael (JCPD) (Jahaira), Kathleen (Matthew), Devin, Sean Jr.(Bridget), Christopher, Matthew, Lauren, Jackson and Trevor, and his four great-grandchildren Ocean, London, Claire and Finn O’Connell. He is also survived by three nephews, Patrick (Kathleen), Brian Colligan, and John (Katie) Andre, a niece, Maureen (Andy) Hoeflin, a brother-in-law Edward Andre, and a long-time family friend, Kathy Shiel.
Visitation will take place at O’Brien Funeral Home, 2028 Hwy. 35, Wall, on Friday, February 16, 2018, from 4-8 PM. The funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Rose Church, Belmar, on Saturday, February 17, 2018, at 9:30 AM, with interment to follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Bill’s memory may be made to St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Rose Church, 603 7th Avenue, Belmar, NJ 07719. Condolences may be sent via www.obrienfuneralhome.com.