2011-03-24 / Obituaries

Clara B. O’Connell

Clara B. O’Connell, 92, a longtime Jamestown resident, died on March 18, 2011, at St. Ann’s Hospital in Fall River, Mass., after a sudden illness at her residence in Sakonnet Bay Manor in Tiverton.

Born to George H. Anderson and Augusta Z. (Merwin) Anderson on Nov. 30, 1918, in Pittsfield, Mass., she was the fifth of eight children: Grace, Barbara, Ruth, Natalie, George, Marian and Fredrick. All are deceased.

Her early years were spent in Great Barrington, Mass., in the Berkshires. She was a graduate of William Cullen Bryant School and Searles High School. She was a graduate of Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School in New York City. Early employment included secretary to the diesel division chief of Mack Truck and secretary at N.E. Line Company, an ammunition manufacturer in Connecticut during World War II.

She married an aviation cadet in the U.S. Army Air Corps, Thomas G. O’Connell of Sheffi eld, Mass., in Plattsburgh, N.Y. on Oct. 6, 1945.

After starting a four-child family in Great Barrington, she moved to Jamestown in 1954, when her husband was employed as a construction inspector for the U.S. Navy in Newport.

For many years she served as the secretary to the commodore of the Conanicut Yacht Club. She worked for 18 years as the secretary to Jamestown’s superintendent of schools, retiring in 1978. Her efficient work at the school department resulted in numerous commendations from the town and several superintendents.

During her residence in Jamestown, the O’Connell family resided on High Street, Standish Road, and on Bay View Drive while Mr. O’Connell constructed a new home, also on Bay View Drive. Mrs. O’Connell was active in community affairs, including Cub Scout Den Mother, PTA member and president. She was an avid bowler, participating in several women’s leagues. She was a communicant at St. Mark Catholic Church in Jamestown, but was always a supporter of the other Jamestown churches.

In 1978, the O’Connells moved to Covered Bridge in Lake Worth, Fla., returning to their Beavertail cottage for the summers. In later years they spent a few summer weeks at a rented Beavertail home. They were able to celebrate their 50th and 60th wedding anniversaries with family and friends in Rhode Island.

While a Lake Worth resident, she became an enthusiastic and competent golfer and enjoyed league play.

In 2005, the O’Connells moved to Sakonnet Bay Manor in Tiverton, where Mrs. O’Connell remained a resident after Mr. O’Connell’s passing in October 2006.

She leaves three children, Thomas O’Connell of Alexandria, Va., Sally Pezanko of Plym- outh, Mass., and Laurie Fischer, of North Providence. A son, Timothy O’Connell, predeceased her in November 2010.

She leaves the following grandchildren: Andrew O’Connell of Orlando, Fla., Kevin O’Connell of Fort Belvoir, Va., Matthew O’Connell of Warwick, Eric O’Connell of Boston, Deborah O’Connell of Myrtle Beach, S.C., Timothy Pezanko of New York City, Luke Pezanko of Roger Williams University in Bristol, Daniel Fischer of Cranston, Ryan Fischer of Providence and Lindsay Pettinelli of Camp Pendleton, Calif. Mrs. O’Connell had three greatgrandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made in her name to St. Mark Catholic Church, 60 Narragansett Ave., Jamestown, R.I. 02835.

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