O’CONNELL, John Joseph (Jack), age 91, of Kettering, OH, passed away on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. John was born on March 29, 1927 in Ft. Thomas, KY to the late John C. and Loretta (Peet) O’Connell. He graduated from St. Thomas Grade School and Highlands High School Class of 1945. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served on the USS Cameron. At the end of the war, Jack obtained his Bachelor of Science degree and MBA from Xavier University. He met and married Jacqueline (Jackie) Ann O’Connell of Hyde Park on April 14, 1951. Together they raised six children and spent 31 years together before her death in 1983.
Jack’s career began at General Electric and Crosley in Cincinnati, Ohio. He moved to Dayton to continue his engineering career at Frigidaire, a division of General Motors. Jack was with Frigidaire for 27 years where he was Manager of Engineering Services. He received 26 patents during his time with the company including the development of the automatic ice maker. After the company was sold, Jack worked for the Inland Division of GM. He retired from GM in 1982. He then worked for Manpower Inc. to assist in the development of a technical services division before accepting a position with Broadway as Vice President of Manufacturing. In his free time, Jack enjoyed playing golf and was a huge fan of Notre Dame Football and Xavier Basketball. Jack was a longtime member of St. Albert the Great Church and served as a past Parish Council President. For many years, he made annual retreats to the Milford Retreat Center with members of the parish.
On March 17, 1986, Jack married Jean Butler Griffith. Together they enjoyed their combined families of 10 children and 25 grandchildren until Jean’s death in 2013. In addition, Jack was preceded in death by his sister, Margaret (Peggy) O’Connell of Ft. Thomas and his son-in-law, Dr. William Clark of Dayton.
Jack is survived by his sister, Mary Smith of Cincinnati; children, Colleen (Jim) Kennedy, Eileen O’Connell Clark, John Kevin (Pam) O’Connell, Thomas (Catherine) O’Connell, William (Michael Pirkle) O’Connell, and Michael (Kelly) O’Connell; grandchildren, Kelly, Jim, and Katherine Kennedy, Patrick and Erin Clark, John, Dan, Jackie, Caitlyn, Michael, Nicholas, Nichole, Megan and Lauren O’Connell; great-grandchildren, Miller, George, and Louise Kennedy and Cecilia O’Connell; step-sons: John (Anne) Griffith, Kevin (Julie) Griffith, Edmund (Anne) Griffith, and Greg (Michael Marin) Griffith; step-grandchildren, Emily, Claire, John, George, Kelly, Amy, Molly, Carly, Holly, Leah and Luke Griffith; and a wonderful family of nieces and nephews.
The family would like to take this opportunity to thank devoted family, friends and assisted living staff members who supported Jack the past 17 years after his debilitating stroke. He inspired us all in resolving his daily challenges with prayer, humor, hard work and an engineer’s talent at making difficult tasks, a well-oiled machine. We will miss game days with him cheering on the Musketeers and Irish, our long walks around the Fraze in his wheelchair, praying the rosary with him with the help of EWTN and most of all just being with him. We hope the Lord greeted him with a box of Esther Price and two scoops of Graeter’s chocolate chip in hand. God bless our Dad and Grandpa Jack!
In Lieu of Flowers, donations may be made in John O’Connell’s memory to: Saint Albert the Great Parish or the Xavier University Department of Physics Scholarship Fund.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00am on Saturday, June 23, 2018 at St. Albert the Great Catholic Church, 3033 Far Hills Ave. Kettering, OH. Private burial for immediate and extended family will be at Gate of Heaven Cemetery at 12:30 p.m. Condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.routsong.com.