John R. O’Connell

(Sep 5, 1927 to Dec 13, 2012)

John R. O’Connell a long-time resident of Delran passed away peacefully on Thursday, December 13, 2012, surrounded by family. He was 85.rnFor John perfection was not so much a destination as it was a path. He never put anything less than his full self into any task at hand. Even a task as minor as building a wagon for his kids or a sled for Boy Scout troop 17 included planning and blueprints before construction began. At his home in Delran, it wasn’t enough for his lawn to be mowed, it was perfectly manicured. He spent countless hours outdoors tending to his flower beds and garden. When his kids were younger, he didn’t just foster their interests, he made them part of the family’s life: he found ways to fund their scout troop through a newspaper recycling program and when it came to sports he went as far as building both a basketball court and soccer field in their backyard. It was only fitting then, that after graduating from Stevens Institute of Technology with a degree in mechanical engineering, he spent his career as an engineer for RCA in Moorestown. He served his county during WWII in the US Navy. John was an active soccer referee and teacher of referee courses in the NJ Soccer Federation. He also worked as a senior tax advisor at H&R Block.rnJohn is survived by his wife, Norma (nee Colson) of Delran. Together, their 60 year marriage has been blessed by their sons: Kevin of Mt. Laurel and Jeffrey (Yin) of Ellicott City, MD and again by their granddaughter, Cosette O’Connell of Ellicott City. He is also survived by his brother, James O’Connell and sister, Virginia Batwinas.rnA private memorial will held at Lakeview Memorial Park Mausoleum of the Apostles. In lieu of flowers memorial gifts may be made to the Animal Welfare Association, 509 Centennial Blvd, Voorhees, NJ 08043.rn

4 thoughts on “John R. O’Connell

  1. Andy Walker

    John O’Connell was our neighbor and friend – mentor for all things engineered. He was a wonderful example of restraint, class, dignity, intelligence and kindness. In all the years I knew John, I had never seen him loose his composure, raise his voice or loose his temper. He was universally respected and loved in our neighborhood – he will be missed by all. John was a wonderful example of the kind of man most aspire to be. Over the years he was our rock when we needed support, our listening ear, our educated and informed consultant but most of all, our friend. He will be missed. God Bless you John, We will see you again one day, until then, rest peacefully. Warm Regards Andy Walker & Family – 507 Wayne Drive, Cinnaminson, NJ 08077 (856-314-8829)- Please feel free to call on us if we can be of service to your family in this time of need.

  2. Phil Snyder

    My deepest sympathies to Norma, Kevin & Jeff. It has been a long time since I have seen John as I was a youth member of Boy Scout Troop 17 in Delran. Through the constant urging of John, Mr O’Connell in those days I was always delivering paper circulars to many homes in Delran. I delivered um-teen thousands I can still see them in my head. I was so successful in delivering flyers and participating in the paper drive that I was able to pay for my week of summer camp and my trip to Philmont fully from that experience! John knew where they would be in some ones garage or in in an old out building. Sometimes we would have a trailer to load them in, sometimes deliver them to a yard of mud. The most interesting time is when we used to store them in old building on Route 130 and they went to tear it down and all our paper was in there. Emergency evacuation! All the scouts used to joke about the biggest paper bundles which we fondly called O’Connell bundles after Mr. O’Connell who always made the biggest ones of course. He always worked so hard that everyone tried their best to work as hard as well. I know it made my dad try and keep up with him. John was a good scouter. I have learned a lot from John, and I am still in the Scouting program, first as a Cub parent, then as a Scoutmaster for 12 years, and now as I serve on both the district and council level in the new Garden State Council. I hope I bring some of the spirit and can-do attitude of John O’Connell with me, and I hope I am able to pass some of on as well. I wish I could have told him that myself. Again, my deepest sympathies.

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