Gone But Not Forgotten
Memorial Peace Garden
On February 5th, 2002, Dan, along with intern, James Ellison, were tragically shot and killed inside the funeral home by a known sexual predator trying to conceal his heinous crimes. The peace garden was founded by the Hudson Area Ministerial Association and local residents of Hudson after their deaths. It serves not only to remember Dan and James, but also for Tom and Janet O’Connell and the love they had for the garden and all that it represented for their family and the community. The beautiful grounds are a meaningful space for all families to share in some peaceful time and reflect on their loved one whom they dearly miss.
Located directly in front of the O’Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson, the garden holds many symbolic elements throughout including: a rock from Dan’s grandmother Erma, a personalized poem written by classmate Mike Miller, trellises made by Dan’s classmates, and a Celtic cross to honor Dan’s Irish heritage. Each part of the garden holds meaning and significance to Dan, James, Tom, and Janet.
A good friend of the O’Connells stated: “It is nice to drive by the funeral home and smile rather than cry.”