James Francis O’Connell, age 86, went to heaven on June 27th, 2020.
Jim was born in Lowville, New York on November 12, 1933 to Elizabeth and Walter O’Connell. He attended school at Lowville Academy and was awarded a scholastic scholarship to attend Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where he earned his B.S. in Geology. While at Lehigh he played baseball, basketball and football. After graduating from Lehigh University, Jim served in the U.S. Army in the 4th Armored Division in Germany. After his military service Jim earned his M.S. in Geology from Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan.
He was a devoted member of Saint Thomas the Apostle Church. He was a longtime volunteer for the Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Vigil at Saint Thomas. Jim was a beloved coach of his children’s sports teams in t-ball, baseball, softball, and soccer through Kids Incorporated and the YMCA. Jim had a love of history, raspberry pies, and enjoyed all things beautiful in nature; birds, flowers, classical music, as well as a classic winning 3 pointers on the basketball court. Jim had a deep love of sports and would play basketball at the YMCA almost every day.
Jim spent his entire career working as an exploration geologist in the oil and gas industry. He was employed by Texaco, Texas Oil and Gas and became an independent geologist in 1968. He worked as an independent geologist for 52 years. He was an active member and volunteer in the AAPG, the Panhandle Geological Society and SIPES.
Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Elizabeth and Walter O’Connell, his brother Jack O’Connell and wife Maddie and brother-in-law Bob Smullens.
Jim was a devoted husband and father who cherished his family and friends. Jim is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years, Evelyn, his children: Ted O’Connell and wife Beth, Carie Trapold and husband Joe, Kathleen O’Connell, Patrick O’Connell and wife Victoria, Angela O’Connell Siemens and husband Ryan, grandchildren: Joe Trapold and wife Lauren, Sr Miriam Therese of OCD (Taryn), James Trapold and wife Mary Ellen, Kelly Johnson and husband Darrin, Olivia Siemens, Blake Siemens and Nicholas Siemens, great-grandchildren: Annabelle Trapold, Juliette Trapold, James (JJ) Trapold, Sosie Trapold, Everett Johnson and Rowan Johnson, and Jim’s sister Jean Smullens.
A rosary service will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 30th at Boxwell Brothers Funeral Home. Mass will be at Saint Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church on Wednesday, July 1, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. followed by blessings and interment at Llano Cemetery in Amarillo, Texas. Jim’s funeral service will be live-streamed at the Saint Thomas website https://amarillo.church/live and will be available for viewing for two weeks after the service.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in his memory to Amarillo Kids Incorporated https://www.kidsinc.org/amarillo or to support educational scholarships donate to https://www.amarilloareafoundation.org/