Kathleen M. O’Connell

Passed: September 27, 2023

Kathleen M. O’Connell

Passed: September 27, 2023


Kathleen M. Irwin O’Connell (age 84) of Goodyear, Arizona passed away after a brief hospitalization while surrounded by her children on Wednesday, September 27, 2023 in Goodyear, Arizona. She was born in Newark, New Jersey on December 1, 1938 to the late John Oliver Irwin and Georgina Foster Irwin.

Kathleen’s parents arrived as immigrants from Ireland through Ellis Island. They married and raised Kathleen and her brothers, Foster and George, in West Orange, New Jersey. In 1956, she graduated from West Orange High School, where she had also met her future husband. Kathleen married Joseph M. O’Connell on October 24, 1959 and remained with him until his passing on March 22, 1993.

The family moved to Chester, New Jersey in 1964, and then to Cazenovia, New York in 1987. After her husband’s passing, Kathleen moved to Pebble Creek in Goodyear, Arizona in 2000.

Kathleen was a registered nurse and graduated from East Orange General Hospital Nursing program in 1958. She loved to work with children at the Matheny School in Peapack, New Jersey.

Kathleen was an outgoing, talkative, warm and caring devoted Christian who loved to listen to Christian music and read her daily devotions and Bible. She was very active in her churches in Chester, New Jersey, Cazenovia, New York and Goodyear, Arizona teaching Sunday school, and leading bible studies. She loved to do facetime calls with her Irish relatives late into the night and was an avid user of technology to communicate with her family and friends. She loved to listen to classical music and books on tape and eat CHEEZE-ITS with a glass of wine with a few ice cubes in it.

Kathleen was passionate about the arts especially the Fiber Arts of weaving, quilting, and knitting as well as painting. She loved to create art with her hands. She was very active in the Pebble Creek Quilters Guild in Arizona as a mentor and contributor. She loved gardening, traveling, and visiting family and friends across the country and Ireland.

She was a devoted and loving mother and grandmother. She was so proud of her 4 grandchildren and boasted about them to anyone she met. Her spirit will live on in her children, grandchildren, and those that she touched. She will be missed by her family and friends.

Kathleen is survived by her children, Steven O’Connell, Susan O’Connell, and Linda O’Connell Rescigno and her beloved grandchildren Caitlin, Shannon, Megan, and Scott. She is also survived by her brother George Irwin.

A memorial service will be held on October 21, 2023 at 11 AM at the First Congregational Church of Chester in New Jersey, where she will be buried next to her husband.

If you would like to make a donation in her honor, the following charities were her very dear to her heart or supported her in her final years: Biblica – The International Bible Society, Kare Bears of Pebble Creek, Our Lady of Guadalupe Ministry in Phoenix AZ, Market Street Mission in New Jersey.

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7 responses to Kathleen M. O’Connell

  1. Carol Horton says:

    Kathleen was a great friend to my mom, Jean, in Chester and throughout their later years. She was gentle and thoughtful, and so talented. Her passing is a sadness, but also a joy and release, as I know she and Joe are together, and she is in the presence of God.

  2. Aunt Kathleen was a fellow artist. I felt her energy from the moment I met her. I enjoyed her artistic eye and energy. I remember seeing her quilting room the first time on a visit out to Arizona and the energy from it spoke to me. I enjoyed visiting and talking with her every time. Kathleen is a wise soul. I can still feel her soft and gentle hand rub my hand as we would talk. I felt her kindness in her gentle voice and words as we would talk. The last time I saw her, I got to attend her church with her and my family. It was a great experience and I was glad to share it with her. I was truly touched. I believe in the continuation of life and I am sure she has been greeted by family members and friends and that occasion was joyful. I miss her and I will miss her touch. I believe I will see her again. She was a blessing to all who knew her and loved her.

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