Martin Willesen O’Connell, age 85 of Hudson, died peacefully Thursday morning, December 18, 2014, at his residence. ”Marty”” was born on July 15, 1929 in Duluth, MN; the son of Frank and Myra (Willesen) O’Connell. He was raised in Hudson where he attended St. Patrick’s Parochial School prior to graduation from Hudson High School in 1947. He would further his education at St. Thomas in St. Paul and the University of Wisconsin – River Falls. In 1960, he married Nancy Rogers to which children Colleen and Martin were born. This union would later dissolve. Marty began his successful work career with the railroad. He worked for the Great Northern and Chicago Northwestern railroads for many years as a traffic agent. He owned and operated the Hudson school buses and ran the buses for the West St. Paul school district. He also worked for Charles Olson and Company selling truck and utility bodies. Marty also owned and operated Hudson Refuse Service. In 1978, Marty purchased and operated Natural Gas, Inc. in New Richmond until his retirement in 1998.
On June 10, 1997, he married his best friend, Patricia (nee Monahan) Groth in Fort Myers Beach, FL. Together, they lived in Lakeland, MN and later Hudson. They loved their time spent in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and Fort Myers Beach during the winter months. Marty was a gifted woodworker who enjoyed making furniture for his family. He enjoyed boating on the St. Croix River and the Gulf of Mexico, as well as, golfing with friends at the New Richmond Golf Course. He enjoyed genealogy. He was the Hudson and O’Connell historian who took great pride in his roots and family lineage. He also took pride in his tenure on the Hudson City Council.
Marty is survived by his wife and best friend Patti, children Colleen O’Connell, Martin (Cindy) O’Connell; son-in-law Scott Snyder; stepchildren Jill (Keith) Bispala, Jay (Eva) Groth; grandchildren Heather, Lorelei (Dan), Victoria, David, William, Ellen; step grandchildren Chloe, Annalise, Lewis, Laurel: great-grandchildren Rhowan, Christian, Max and Adyson. He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Myra, and his beloved dog Dugan.
Mass of Christian Burial for ””Marty”” O’Connell will be 11 AM on Tuesday, December 23rd at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Hudson. Burial will be in the parish cemetery. Visitation will be on Monday from 4-6 PM with a prayer service to conclude the visitation at the O’Connell Family Funeral Home in Hudson, as well as one hour prior to the mass at church on Tuesday morning. Memorials are preferred to the Dan O’Connell Peace Garden, cancer research or Living Unbound mission work.
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