Obituary of Lawrence E. O'Connell
Lawrence Edward O’Connell, longtime manager of the First National Grocery Store in Belmont, passed away on Wednesday, August 2, after an extended illness. He was 93 years old. Larry was born in Cambridge. He was the son of Irish immigrants, Jeremiah and Mary A. O’Connell. He grew up in Cambridge. He went to St. Paul’s Elementary School and graduated from Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School. He furthered his education at Bentley College.
Larry served in the Army during the Korean War. He held the rank of Corporal and served much of his time in Germany. He was the recipient of the Army of Occupation Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. After returning from his military service, he worked for over 25 years at the First National Grocery Store in Belmont with many of those years spent as the store manager. He then worked for another twelve years as the manager of the Highland Supermarket, also in Belmont. While his wife and family were always most important, Larry greatly enjoyed his time managing the stores in Belmont. Longtime employees became lifelong friends to Larry and his family. While many years passed, Larry remembered the members of the community and the members of the community remembered Larry.
Larry was a man devoted to his family. He and his wife, Ellie, shared nearly seventy years of marriage. They balanced each other well. While Ellie balanced family, church activities, trip planning, and generally being on the go, Larry contented himself on Peach Orchard Road surrounded by his family. He was a huge Boston Sports fan in good times and bad. He never missed a game and knew every statistic. He wept in agony when the Sox lost in ’86 and cried in joy when they finally broke the Curse. He celebrated with his sons when the Patriots beat the Rams. He read the newspaper front to back daily. He was well versed in political and current events but was savvy enough to keep his own politics close to the vest. He was a proud father and a stabilizing force in a home filled with seven active children. Chaos and commotion were seemingly never ending on Peach Orchard but neither were Larry’s fortitude and loyalty. Year in and year out, Larry made sure his family had memorable times together at Hampton Beach, perhaps his favorite place. Quietly but steadfastly, he acted as the family historian, tracking decades, day by day, with meticulous calendars. He catalogued the weather, the visitors, the joys, the sadnesses, the successes, the challenges. Some days, usually those spent with family, were perfect and got a “10”.
The man who worked so hard for so many years was unapologetically softened when he became Papa. The seven children he and Ellie raised soon gave rise to families of their own: 26 grandchildren, spouses, 9 great grandchildren. As we would all hope, his family was his greatest joy and accomplishment. His best friends from Cambridge, Sonny Sullivan, David Hickey, and Bill Ostrander (who married his sister) were friends for life. They shared stories from their past every time they were together. Larry will be remembered for his dry Irish wit, his dead pan delivery of a joke, and his ability to enjoy the simple things in life.
Larry was the beloved husband of Eleanor “Ellie” (Noone). He was the loving father of Lawrence, Jr. & his wife Denise of Boxford, Denise of Malden, Beth of Lawrence, Maureen Raymond & her husband Peter of Sandwich, Paul & his wife Mia of Ipswich, Thomas & his wife Lara of Lexington, and the late Kevin & his surviving wife Leslie of Medford. He was the brother of Mary Ostrander of Ipswich and the late Rita McNulty. He was the proud Papa of Kerrie Callahan, Michelle O’Connell, Lindsay Torridi, Kevin O’Connell, Jr., Nicole O’Connell, Caitlyn O’Connell, Colin O’Connell, Braeden O’Connell, Denise Keane, Maura Keane, Caroline Dymek, Chloe Dymek, Noah Raymond, Christin Raymond, Abigail Raymond, Jonah Raymond, Joel Raymond, Lily Raymond, Eleanor Raymond, Shannon O’Connell, Fiona O’Connell, Finn O’Connell, Maeve O’Connell, Keegan O’Connell, Aedan O’Connell, and the late Declan O’Connell. He was also survived by 9 great grandchildren.
Visiting hours will be held at the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., Burlington on Monday, Aug. 7 from 4-7pm. Funeral from the Sullivan Funeral Home on Tuesday, Aug. 8 at 9am. Followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Margaret Church in St. Veronica Parish, www.stveronicama.org, 111 Winn St., Burlington at 10am. Interment in Chestnut Hill Cemetery, Burlington.
Memorials may be made to the Cotting School, www.cotting.org, 453 Concord Ave, Lexington, MA 02421.
For obituary online guestbook and video tribute see www.sullivanfuneralhome.net
Edward V. Sullivan
43 Winn Street
Burlington, MA 01803
Ph: (781) 272-0050