The Ancient Order of Hibernians in America remembers Jack O’Connell for his proud nominations over the years of his son Danny, the organization’s National Vice President.

Jack’s proudest Hibernian moment, however, was traveling to Columbus, Ohio, for the installation of his two grandsons, Marty Brinker, and Scott Partika in the fall of 2009. Scott is the current president of Patrick Pearse Division 1, Columbus Ohio.

Martin John "Jack" O'Connell, 83, of Girard, Ohio, passed away peacefully on Monday, February 11, 2019, surrounded by his family. Jack was born September 20, 1935, in Youngstown, Ohio, the son of Martin D. and Isabel (Mylott) O'Connell.

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A celebration of Jack's life held last week. Image: Family photo.

A celebration of Jack's life held last week. Image: Family photo.

He leaves to cherish his memory, his wife of 61 years, Janet L. (Gantar) O'Connell, the love of his life, whom he married October 26, 1957; their children; Kathleen (David) Sauline, of Girard, Maureen Haska, of Edinburg, Danny (Abbie Nicole) O'Connell, of Girard, Laureen (Dan) Brinker, of Girard and Christeen (Randy) Partika, of Coitsville, his brother, Robert (Darlene) O'Connell, of McDonald, grandchildren; Jessica (Doug) Foster, Janet (Michael) Russo, Mary (Nick) White, Grace (Philip) Rockwell, Martin (Alexis) Brinker, Scott (Kristie) Partika, Annie Partika, Abbey Partika, Emily Partika, and Jesse Wilson, and great-grandchildren; Margaret Russo and Donovan Martin Partika. Besides his parents, he is preceded in death by his sister, Eileen Senich and son-in-law David Haska.

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Seven hats belonging to Jack were displayed during calling hours. During the celebration of life the hats were distributed to his seven granddaughters. Image: Family photo.

Seven hats belonging to Jack were displayed during calling hours. During the celebration of life the hats were distributed to his seven granddaughters. Image: Family photo.

Jack served the Mahoning Valley for many decades as a labor leader and community volunteer who impacted the lives of many people. Jack served as Business Manager for the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 87 as well as executive secretary for the Western Reserve Building Trades. Jack was the first non-steelworker to serve as president of the local AFL-CIO. Throughout his labor career, he served as labor liaison for former Congressman Jim Traficant and worked as a regional representative for former Ohio Attorney General Lee Fisher.

After retirement, he continued to play an active role to ensure the availability of services for older adults. Jack was a founding member of the Girard Multi-Generational Center, serving as Chairman of the Board for 16 years. The gymnasium was dedicated the “Jack O’Connell Gymnasium” in 2016.  Jack also served as president of the Area Agency on Aging for 18 years. In 2007, Jack was inducted into the Ohio Senior Citizens Hall of Fame.

Jack served on the Youngstown State University Board of Trustees, Supreme Court of Ohio Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline, Board of Trustees at Hillside Hospital, Board of Directors of Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corp., the Board of Directors of the MVSD, Girard City Council, President of Trumbull Metropolitan Park Board, and numerous additional Boards.

Seven hats belonging to Jack were displayed during calling hours. During the celebration of life the hats were distributed to his seven granddaughters. Image: Family photo.

Seven hats belonging to Jack were displayed during calling hours. During the celebration of life the hats were distributed to his seven granddaughters. Image: Family photo.

AOH Mahoning County Division 6 held the traditional AOH Prayer service led by Jack’s Grandson Scott Partika followed by the singing of The Parting Glass and a toast to Jack. Janet and the entire O’Connell family were overwhelmed by the tremendous support from family and friends most especially from Hibernians around the country during this difficult time. The celebration of life for Jack began Saturday with a Mass of Christian Burial and continued with family and friends throughout the day.  

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis. 

Jack O'Connell. Family photo.