Remembering Janet O'Connell

Honoring her memory.

Janet Marie O’Connell age 86 of Hudson died peacefully Monday, June 26th, 2017 at Lakeview hospital surrounded by her family. Janet was born on December 24th, 1930 in St. Paul, Minnesota the daughter of Elmer and Elsie Smisek. Growing up she lived in St. Paul attending Nativity Parochial School prior to graduating from Visitation High School in St. Paul. She would further her education at St. Catherine’s in St. Paul. Being one of four girls, she learned how to shoot a gun with her dad, and avid hunter. ‘Calamity Jane’ certainly could hold her own as she was featured in Sports Afield Magazine for being an outstanding trap shooter. Only a few years ago, she led her class shooting handguns at the Rod and Gun Club!
On August 25, 1951 she was united in marriage to Thomas P ‘Tucker’ O’Connell at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Hudson. This union would be blessed with four children; Thomas, Kathleen, Daniel, and Michael. For many years, Janet enjoyed her time working at the Wisconsin Tourist Information Center in Hudson. She was a great ambassador who enjoyed talking to the truckers as she could always tell where they came from by how they talked. In 1985, with Jan’s full support, Tom and Janet fulfilled their dream of opening and operating the O’Connell Valley Funeral Home in Hudson. Janet spent countless hours at the funeral home to show her support and presence. Hours upon hours were spent needlepointing. To this day many of the items are on display at the funeral home. Furthermore, she was proud in 1998, when the Baldwin Chapel was purchased to offer services to a greater area.
She enjoyed her gardens, especially roses, and tomato plants. One of Janet’s favorite things to do was to can tomatoes and spaghetti sauce. She found her jigsaw puzzles challenging and a day at her cabin most pleasurable. her favorite time of the year was Christmas and baking cookies with her sisters. For those that knew Janet, she was the life of the party. She had an uncanny way of making you feel special. If you did not know her, and just met her, it would take her five minutes to become your friend and invite you over for dinner. Moreover, if you stopped by her house to pick a product or talk about your beliefs, they were invited in to talk. It was usually them who had had asked to leave!! Her greatest joy came from spending time with family and watching her grandchildren grow up. They were the apple of her eye!
Janet will remain in the hearts of her husband Thomas ‘Tucker’; children Thomas (Carol) of Cross Plains, Kathleen (Joyce Johnson) O’Connell of Inver Grove Heights, 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, Tess O’Connell; and great grandchildren Charlie and Lucy. She is further survived by her sisters Joan (Tom) Trudell, Jean Mulvihill, Judy Hable, and many nieces and nephews who are all very special to her. Janet is preceded in death by her parents, her infant sister Joyce, her beloved son Danny, infant great grandson Braydon; and brother-in-law Glenn Mulvihill.
Mass of Christian burial for Janet will be Monday, July 3, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Hudson. Burial will be at St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery. Visitation will be Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson as well as one hour prior to the Mass at the church Monday. Memorials are preferred to Dan O’Connell Peace Garden or St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. The ultimate privilege was given to her son and staff at O’Connell‘s who were family to her to coordinate her funeral celebration.