Thomas Joseph O’Connell, Jr.

April 17, 1929 - July 1, 2012
Thomas Joseph O’Connell, Jr.


Thomas J. O’Connell Jr, 83, passed away at his home, surrounded by family, on July 1, 2012. Mr. O’Connell was predeceased by his father Thomas J. O’Connell, his mother Ruth, and his brother Robert.

He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Kathleen (Dolan) O’Connell, sons Thomas Michael O’Connell of San Jose, California, his wife Elyse and their sons Thomas Michael Jr., Kevin, Aidan and Brendan, and a great grandson Thomas Ryan; Daniel O’Connell of Port Jefferson Station, New York and his wife Kathleen; daughter Mary O’Connell Gisonni of Palm Harbor, Florida and her children Christopher, Ryan and Kathleen; son Sean O’Connell of Wilmington, North Carolina, and his son Liam. He is also survived by sisters Ruth Targove and Patricia Campbell and brother Edward O’Connell.

Mr. O’Connell was born in the Bronx, NY and attended Power Memorial HS on a basketball scholarship. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War, was honorably discharged as a Sergeant and joined the New York City Police Department. He attained the rank of Captain, as did his father before him, receiving numerous commendations, including the Medal of Honor, the highest accolade that the NYPD bestows upon its officers. Two sons and a grandson followed his career path to law enforcement. After retiring from the NYPD, he attended both Hofstra University and Hofstra Law School, became a member of the New York Bar, and practiced law for several years before retiring to Wilmington, North Carolina.

Mr. O’Connell’s retirement years were busy and productive. He was a founding member of the Wilmington 10-13 Club (retired NYPD officers), a Eucharistic Minister at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, an active member of the Marine Corps League (Detachment 1070), and involved in many community and civic activities. He was also an avid golfer and member of the Echo Farms Golf Club.

Mr O’Connell loved God, his country, his family and friends. He was beloved and will be missed by many.

The family will see friends from 6:00 – 8:00 pm Tuesday, July 3, 2012 at Wilmington Funeral Chapel.

The funeral mass will be conducted 11 AM, July 5, 2012 at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church by Father Bob Kus. Interment will follow at Oleander Memorial Gardens with full military honors.

In lieu of flowers, the family would greatly appreciate donations to Step Up For Soldiers, P.O. Box 2003, Carolina Beach, NC 28428.

In lieu of flowers, the family would greatly appreciate donations to Step Up For Soldiers, P.O. Box 2003, Carolina Beach, NC 28428.

Please share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Sign Guest Book” tab above.

Wilmington Funeral & Cemation, 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403. 910.791.9099


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  • July 05, 2012
    Carol Murphy says:
    Sean, my apologies for referring to your father at Tom Dolan. To me your families are so connected that I just typed the wrong name.

  • July 04, 2012
    Kenneth S Kurtz DDS says:
    Uncle Tom has filled me with a lifetime of memories. His style was crystal clear: honor (his commitment to wife & family), duty (his professional dedication to his careers) and country (his love for America). I am honored to be his nephew, and we are all better for his presence on earth. He will be sorely missed, but well-remembered! Semper Fi.

  • July 06, 2012
    Jaime Burcham says:
    I am blessed to have known such a wonderful man. He was truly special and a hero to me and my family in every way.

  • July 03, 2012
    Phelps Family Dentistry says:
    Mr. O' Connell's personality and funny jokes were something that we always looked forward to everytime that we saw him. He will truly be missed. You and your family are in our prayers.

  • July 02, 2012
    Stacy Culhane Armstrong says:
    Fondly remember our vistits at the "O'Connell Compound" in Hampton Bays. A full life on earth, an eternal life in heaven. Our thoughts and Prayers - Stacy, Jim, Erin and Robin Armstrong