Richard Allen O’Connell

November 2, 1943 - September 10, 2022
Richard Allen O’Connell


On Sept. 10th, 2022 at age 78, Richard O’Connell passed away peacefully with his family at his side.

Born in 1943 to Ralph and Grace O’Connell, he grew up on the family farm in Hammond, WI, milking cows, bailing hay, and driving the tractors. Richard met his future wife in the fourth grade and they graduated from Baldwin High School together in 1961. Richard served in the US Army stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado. He married his high school sweetheart in October of 1964 at Saint Mary’s Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Hammond, WI and then moved to St. Paul, Mn. In the summer of 1967, they moved to White Bear Lake, Mn. with their firstborn son, Todd, who was later joined by their son Troy and their daughter Tami. In 1985, they moved to Wilmington, NC, where they have resided since.

Richard worked 47 years for the same crane manufacturing company under a few different corporate flags and retired in 2010. Richard and Judy celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary in 2014 at a beach house in Wrightsville Beach, NC, making lasting memories with their entire immediate family.

Rich was a team member of the 1972 Class A State Champions fast pitch softball team. He spent many days, evenings, and weekends at hockey arenas, baseball fields, and basketball gyms coaching, supporting, and avidly cheering for his children and grandchildren. Rich also enjoyed spending time in his backyard riding his beloved John Deere lawn mower and tinkering in his shed. Through his final days, he delighted in the joys, accomplishments, and adventures of his children and grandchildren.

Richard is survived by his wife Judy, children Todd and wife Sara, Troy and wife Dana, Tami and husband Jason. Grandchildren Parker and wife Belen, Taylor, Bailey, Davis, Molly, Hailey, Connor, and Piper.

Richard finishes this part of his journey having lived life well. He set a high bar as a Husband, Father, Grandfather and hard worker. His loving spirit, steadfast loyalty, heartwarming demeanor, and quick-witted humor will be missed by all.

A celebration of his life and time for the family to greet friends will be held Sunday, Sept. 18th from 2-4pm at the Wilmington Funeral and Cremation center, located at 1535 South 41st St., Wilmington, NC. The family will host an additional celebration of life for their extended families at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home in Baldwin, WI on Sunday, October 23 from 12-3pm. An optional social gathering will immediately follow at the Phoenix Grill and Event Center in Baldwin, WI from 3-6pm.

In lieu of flowers or gifts, please make a donation on Richard O’Connell’s behalf to The Cape Fear American Heart Association at 116 Princess St Wilmington, NC 28401.

Share memories and condolences with the family by visiting the “Tribute Wall”

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403  910-791-9099



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  • September 26, 2022
    Billy & Melissa Insco says:
    We were so sorry to hear about Rich's passing. He was one incredible fella who always had a smile on his face. Working with him was such a pleasure and honored that we had the opportunity to do that. He sure loved his family and was such a devoted and hard worker. Our condolences to all of you!

  • September 20, 2022
    Allen & Celia Williams says:
    I know Allen enjoyed working with Rich for years. When I called in each day I got to talk to Rich. He always called me the redhead. It always made me smile. We love you Rich. You will be missed. Thoughts and prayers to your family. Allen & Celia (a/k/a the redhead) Williams

  • September 19, 2022
    Vertha DixonWright says:
    My thoughts and prayers are with the O’Connell family. He was a great man and always has words of encouragement whether we won or got beat by twenty!

  • September 19, 2022
    Courtney Whitmer says:
    This is such a beautiful tribute. Rich was a wonderful man and I am happy that he was part of my life during my High School years. He was always so supportive of Tami and all of us playing basketball. He was one of the biggest cheerleaders along with all our parents. My thoughts and prayers are with the family. Big hugs to you all.

  • September 19, 2022
    Maggie Hall.....niece says:
    The photo montage was beautiful. Beautiful family, beautiful wife, beautiful life. Thank you for the peek into your lives, that he was loved was obvious, Maggie Hall