In Memory of Thomas P. "Tucker" O'Connell

Visitation

Wednesday March 6th from 3pm to 7pm at the O'Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson, as well as one hour prior to the Mass at the church on Thursday

Services

11 a.m. Thursday, March 7th at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Hudson

Printer Version

Thomas P. O’Connell, affectionately known as Tucker, age 91 of Hudson, died peacefully Saturday March 2, 2019 at the Christian Community Home in Hudson. Tom was born January 7th, 1928 in Hudson, Wisconsin to Richard Joseph & Margaret (Grace) O’Connell. He grew up in Hudson and attended college at UW-River Falls as well as the University of Minnesota where he earned his degree in Mortuary Science. Following high school, he enlisted in the Wisconsin National Guards where he developed many lasting friendships. Always being an entrepreneur, Tom was a small business owner, as well as a successful paper goods and pharmaceutical sales rep. On Aug. 25, 1951, he was united in marriage to Janet Marie Smisek at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Hudson. This union would be blessed with four children; Thomas, Kathleen, Daniel, and Michael.

Following the tradition of his family, Tom started working for a funeral home in the Twin Cities – where he became quite proficient. He decided to set out on his own and in 1985 founded the new O’Connell Valley Funeral Home in Hudson – serving the St. Croix County area and beyond. He helped create success greater than he could have ever imagined by helping grieving families at their worst moment. It was the greatest reward for him to work side by side with his sons Dan and Mike. Tom had a gift, which was the ability to talk to others at their level.

Beyond his work at the funeral home, Tom was well known in the Hudson area for his active involvement in the community. He has been a member of the Hudson Area Chamber of Commerce, United Way – St. Croix Valley, Phipps Center for the Arts, the Hudson Community Foundation, the Wisconsin Regional Planning Committee, and St. Patrick’s Parish Council. Tom served many years on the St. Croix County Board of Supervisors, many of which as financial chairman. He also served an incredible 45 years on the Hudson Police and Fire Commission where the majority was spent as Commissioner. Finally, Tom has dedicated much of his recent life as an advocate against child predators through various organizations formed to protect children. Although Tom felt most comfortable at work, when he did get away, he enjoyed relaxing at the family cabin on Trade Lake, driving around in his 1929 Ford Model A Roadster, and spending time with his kids, grandkids, and great grandchildren.

For all that knew Tom, you could appreciate his infectious smile and demeanor, but his dry, witty humor usually left others shaking their head with laughter.

Tom will forever remain in the hearts of his children, Thomas (Carol) O’Connell of Cross Plains, Kathleen (Joyce Johnson) O’Connell of Inver Grove Heights, and Michael (Carla) O’Connell of Wilson; grandchildren, Megan (Adam) Crowson, Tim O’Connell, Colleen O’Connell, Kyle O’Connell, Kaitlyn O’Connell, Emma O’Connell, and Tess O’Connell; and great-grandchildren, Charlie and Lucy. And of course, we cannot forget his beloved dog, the chairman of the board, Pepe. A great union in heaven was made Saturday with his wife of 66 years Janet, his beloved son Danny, great grandson Braydon, his parents Richard Joseph & Margaret (Grace) O’Connell, step mother Erma, brother Donald, Robert (Ella), and sister Peggy (George) Schullo. 

Mass of Christian Burial for Tom O’Connell will be 11 a.m. Thursday, March 7th at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Hudson. Burial will be at the St. Patrick's Catholic Cemetery with his staff acting as casketbearers. Visitation will be Wednesday March 6th from 3pm to 7pm at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson, as well as one hour prior to the Mass at the church on Thursday. Memorials are preferred to Dan O’Connell Peace Garden. The ultimate privilege was given to his son Mike and staff at O’Connell’s who he wished to coordinate his funeral celebration. Services have been entrusted to the O'Connell Family Funeral Home.

Thomas P. "Tucker" O's Tribute Wall

Tributes (20):

  1. Mr. O’Connell was such a good man and gave so much of himself at church, to our community and to the many families he helped through the hardest of times when losing a loved one. His smile was contagious and he will be missed. Heartfelt condolences to you and your family.

  2. Our sympathy to the entire O’Connell family. We are so grateful to have known Tom (and Janet) and will always remember the good times and laughter!
    Love,

    Jim, Marge and Erin Jenkins

  3. Uncle Tom reminded me of my dad, Bob.
    Very funny and very kind!
    What a great soul!

    Kerri O’Connell-Adami

  4. On behalf of the current members of the Hudson Police and Fire Commission, I wish to thank Tom and the O’Connell family for the 45 years of service to Hudson and the community that Tom gave so unselfishly and the entire family contributed to during Tom’s time on the commission. He was absent from the family a lot during this time.
    It has been my great pleasure to have known Tom for the past 45 years since I have lived in Hudson and have witnessed all he has given to the community. Thank you.
    Bob Staebell

  5. Tom was a true pillar of the community…one of the best people I knew. He was a friend of my dad’s, and so very kind and helpful when Dad died. Seeing him at a visitation was always a bright spot for me at a sad time (and his hug was comforting). He will be so incredibly missed, but I’m happy for him that he’s reunited with his loved ones. Thanks, Tom, for all you did for so many.

  6. We were saddened to hear of Tom’s passing. Tom and my dad went way back with their friendship. I always loved when he would come to Arby’s. Our condolences and prayers are with his family!

  7. I was saddened to learn of the passing of Mr. O’Connell. He was truly a man of great heart. When my family was at our lowest moment when we lost our middle daughter Tom (Mike and the entire staff for that matter) was there supporting us and understanding how great our loss was to us. My deepest condolences to the family and all who loved him. Mr. O’Connell’s smile and infectious heart will be deeply missed.

  8. Your Father, Tom, was a kind, caring man…I remember years ago his service on the County Board., Tom was never too busy that he didn’t have time to talk to the County Staff…Always a smile, he will be greatly missed in the Hudson Community…

  9. Mike and John-

    Our sympathies to your families on the loss of your father and friend. Cherish the memories and legacy that Tom has left in funeral service but more importantly with your family.

    Take Care,

    Dan, Russ and the entire staff at Koepsell Funeral Homes.

  10. Mr.O’ Connell was a great force in helping Hudson grow quickly into what it is today! He will surely be missed by everyone who’s ever met him briefly or known him a lifetiime. My prayers go out to the O’Connell Family especially Kathy whom I”‘ve known since grade school.

  11. Tom’s smile always made people feel welcome. He always had time to say hi and talk. So many memories of him and Dan. His family is a testament to the wonderful father and grandfather he was. My prayers are with the entire family, especially Mike and Kaitlyn.

  12. Mike & Carla and the entire O’Connell family. I truly LOVED your Dad, from the moment I met him he was a person who drew you in and cared about you even if he had just met you. Tom was a huge advocate of me as SCC Treasurer and our connection at the county level and after that was always there. I appreciated his loyalty and honest to everyone he met and everything he did.
    While the reunion filled the sky with stars – I know your heart is hurt to lose that parent. Hugs to you all and my deepest sympathies!

  13. Mark and I send our most sincere condolences to the family.
    A great family man and wonderful human being.

  14. Tom’s was a productive life well lived. Such a privilege to have known him. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

  15. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time. I didn’t know him, I met him only a couple of times. However knowing his daughter Kathi, one can only assume she came from a beautiful and loving family. A truly amazing legacy.

  16. You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Cherish the many memories of such a wonderful man.

  17. Tom was a one of a kind special guy filled with love for people.
    His legacy will live on. Our prayers & thoughts to the family
    at this time as he reunites with his loved ones.

  18. Tom will be missed by many. He was always friends with whomever he met. On behalf of the Bakken family’s, we send our condolences and will keep the family in our prayers.

  19. Tom was a great role model for all of us. He was truly a great man who gave so much to others. I have many personal memories of him. I recently reminded him of one of them. I was never so grateful to see Tom on that day so many years ago.
    There was just nothing like he and Janet together though and knowing they are again is comforting.
    God Bless the family as they struggle through this loss now. Kathi you were a godsend to your dad as you took care of him these last few years. Love you girl. Hugs and prayers for all of you.
    Nancy

  20. The entire community shares the loss of such an outstanding community leader and friend. My condolences and prayers are with his family, especially Mike.