The O’Connell family dedicated a memorial peace garden in memory of Daniel O’Connell –
Tom and Janet’s son, and a funeral director with the O’Connell Family Funeral Homes.
On February 5th, 2002, Dan, along with intern, James Ellison, was shot and killed inside the funeral home by a known sexual predator trying to conceal his heinous crimes. The concept of a peace garden was founded by the Hudson Area Ministerial Association and local residents of Hudson. Dan’s memorial garden serves not only to remember Dan, but for all families to share in some peaceful time and reflect on their loved one whom they dearly miss. The garden is located directly in front of the O’Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson. Its entry begins with a beautiful arbor lined in stucco and protected by a copper roof. The garden includes a rock from Dan’s grandmother Erma’s garden. Attached to it is a plaque, engraved with a poem, written by a close friend, and classmate Mike Miller. A wind chime protected by a handcrafted copper obelisk fills the sky with beautiful music. The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi is engraved in a limestone rock. Trellises made by Dan’s classmates surround the garden with Morning Glories and Clematises. Dan’s favorite flower, the Purple Lilac, encompasses the garden. The middle of the garden contains a Celtic Cross outlined in blooming flowers with a water fountain. A good friend of the O’Connells stated: “It is nice to drive by the funeral home and smile rather than cry.” The garden is open to anyone to walk through and visit. The O’Connells appreciate all the hard work and effort that went into constructing the garden – as it was constructed entirely through volunteer effort from those in the community.