Wake 5:30 pm Monday
Funeral 11:00am Tuesday Holy Family Catholic Church
Interment 2:30pm Wed at Ft. Sam Houston national Cemetery in San Antonio
Elmwood Funeral Home
5750 US Hwy 277South
Abilene, TX 79606
The Florist on Hickory Street
931 Hickory St
Abilene TX 79601
Flowers on Hickory Street
Holy Family Catholic Church Bereavement Group
5410 Buffalo Gap Rd.
Abilene, TX 79606
Hendrick Hospice Care
1682 Hickory Street
Grace Marie O’Connell
Grace departed her earthly dwelling place to be with her Savior and loved ones on June 20, 2015.
Grace was born on May 30, 1925 in Yonkers, NY to Anna Revellese and Fred R. Male.
Survivors include her loving sons and families including, Dennis & Janelle O’Connell of Abilene, TX, and Kevin & Lynn O’Connell of Manhattan Beach, CA, grandchildren, Evan (Heather), Cameron (April), Keelan (fiance-Jonathan), Gracie, and great-grandson, Luke O’Connell. She is survived by her older sister, Palma Zanzarella, sister- in-law Joan Male, and many treasured nephews and nieces.
She was preceded in death by her loving husband, George F. O’Connell (1996), her parents, Anna and Fred Male, and her younger brother, Frank.
Born shortly after the Great Depression, she was a hard worker, and began her days in the bookkeeping office of local fruit importers in Yonkers, NY. After graduation from Gorton High School she worked for Time and the New Yorker Magazine in Manhattan, NY and Elizabeth Seton College in Yonkers, NY.
Grace married the love of her life, George, on July 23, 1950. Grace made sure that her sons went to church, sports and music practices, cub scouts, and other activities. She was a loyal member of the St. Gerard’s League and the 3rd Order of St. Francis at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Yonkers, NY.
Grace and George moved to Westlake, OH in 1976 where Grace worked for John Dougherty & Associates at Thomas Publishing Company. After George’s retirement, they moved to San Antonio to be closer to their three eldest grandchildren. With George’s passing in 1996, Grace dedicated herself to community service including many activities at St. Mark’s Catholic Church in San Antonio, the Majestic Theatre and the Visiting Nurse Association Hospice where she was Volunteer of the Year. Upon moving to Abilene, TX in 2000 Grace continued her volunteer work by starting the Bereavement Group at Holy Family Catholic Church. She was a Eucharistic Minister and loved to visit the homebound and those in nursing homes. She thoroughly enjoyed volunteering with Hendrick Hospice and with the Giving Tree project at the Abilene Mall. For a woman who loved to talk, she was a wonderful listener, and had a gift for empathizing with those who were hurting and in pain.
Grace was a wonderful Italian chef and baker and never met a stranger. She was well-known at the Hallmark store and was received over 100 birthday cards on a recent birthday. She often said, “to have a friend, you must first be a friend.” Another favorite saying was, “Busy days are happy days.” Often asked, what she would like for Christmas or her birthday, she’d answer “goodness.” In her later years, when she was unable to ambulate, or speak well – she was known as the “Yoo-hoo Lady,” flagging down passersby with her smile, a wave and her desire to get to know them.
Grace lived an amazing life and had a fitting name. She loved God deeply and with all her heart and she graced us by showing His love to all of us. Rest in peace sweet mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, daughter, sister, aunt, great aunt and friend!!!
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Holy Family Catholic Church Bereavement Ministries or Hendrick Hospice.