Frank J. O’Connell

Life Story

Our beloved Husband, Father and Grand ”Pa”, Frank Joseph O’Connell, passed away on Friday, June 20th at Brigham’s and Women’s Hospital in Boston after a brief illness with his family at his side.

He was born in Lewiston on March 3, 1931, the son of Frank Patrick and Delphine “Cyr” O’Connell. He graduated from Lewiston High School, class of 1949. While in high school he participated in baseball, track, hockey and also served as the basketball manager. He joined the Maine Army National Guard in 1948 while in high school. He was also a 1951 graduate of the Army Signal School.

He married his high school sweetheart, Pauline Dionne, on November 3, 1951 and together they raised four children.

Frank was employed at Bonafide Mills until 1960 where he worked his way up to Assistant Plant Superintendent. When the mill closed he later was self employed as a malt beverage distributor. In 1975 he attended classes at Fort Benjamin Harrison to be trained as a recruiter for Maine Army National Guard. He was a very successful recruiter maintaining over 100{4d02398aa2ae63ab0bd1c272ce3183e68dd34073a7d90aef68685cc24f4b507c} strength during his career. SFC O’Connell was selected to upgrade the retention program within two Battalions encompassing 1300 troops. He was awarded the Army Achievement Medal.

Frank played for many local baseball teams. In 1954 he was Captain of the Bates Manufacturing team that went to Battle Creek, Michigan representing New England. Frank has a long history of being a Red Sox fan and was instrumental in fundraising for the Jimmy Fund.

For many years he was very active in St. Patrick’s Church. He along with his wife, Pauline, chaired the annual St. Patrick’s Day dinner. He was also involved with the Jessie Tree at Christmas time, approximately 100+ children would receive presents. Frank and Pauline served as Eucharistic Ministers for over 22 years. Their most recent volunteering was at the St. Vincent’s Thrift Shop.

He made many friends through Cardiac Rehab at St. Mary’s and hosted an annual get-together for 28 years.

Frank was a fan of all local sports. He especially enjoyed attending his grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s sports events. He has been a hockey fan and an avid Maineiacs fan and a season ticket holder for their entire stay in Lewiston. He has kept the seat warm in Section 5, Row C, Seat 2 for countless games.

Last fall Frank with his three sons and two grandsons enjoyed a trip to Ireland.

Frank was loved by all that met him. He was a very personable man making all those that met him feel that he was their “Pa” from the first moment. Frank was affectionately known as the “Candy Man”, always with a pocket full of candy to give out to friends and strangers with love. He and Pauline host an annual O’Connell/Dionne Family Reunion boasting a very competitive Horseshoe Competition in which Frank was a frequent champ.

He is survived by his wife, Pauline of 62 years and three sons; George and his wife Sandy, Gregory and his fiancé Linda Bourque, Gary and his wife Mako, and one daughter Maureen and her husband Lee Pokorny; six grandchildren; Angel, Patrick, Chelsie, Tamiko, Caitlin, Shawn and two great grandchildren Tyler and Cody Stockford and a great grandchild on the way. He is also survived by his sister, Dorothy “Dottie” Woodhead, Many nieces and nephews and his beloved cat, Scooter.

He was predeceased by his brother, George Benard, two sisters Catherine “Kitty” Boucher and Elizabeth “Betty” Terrell.

The family would like to extend a special thank-you to Dr. Seth Gordon and Dr. David Abisalih and the caring nurses at St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center, Single Stay at CMMC and his Cardiac Rehab family.


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