August 22, 2018
Visitation: 5 – 7 p.m. Thursday, August 30, 2018 at Thompson’s Harveson and Cole Funeral Home.
Liturgy Service: 10 a.m. Saturday, September 1, 2018 at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Fort Worth. Per his wishes, an art exhibit of his photography and a celebration of life will be held at a later date.
Memorials: In lieu of flowers, should friends desire, memorial gifts may be made to Butler Elementary Dads’ Club, LifeGift – Fort Worth, or Moncrief Cancer Institute.
Shawn Patrick O’Connell, 46, died peacefully on August 22, 2018, after an arduous battle with cancer.
Born in Chicago Ridge, Ill., Shawn and his family moved to Texas when he was 7. From a young age, Shawn finely tuned his quick, sarcastic wit, and used it liberally throughout his entire life to evoke smiles and laughs from all who knew him. It was this trait that made his wife Kelly agree to a date with him.
Shawn was the first in his family to graduate from college (he also earned his graduate degree), later becoming a wonderful and cherished teacher. “Mr. O” was honored as the 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year at his beloved Butler Elementary, the school he attended as a child (and where he made terrible grades).
Shawn met the love of his life, Kelly, in 2001; they married in 2004. Together they shared 14 years of a happy, easy marriage. Shawn was Kelly’s biggest fan, best friend, personal chef, favorite person and the only one she will ever allow to put Star Wars Christmas inflatables on the lawn.
Marrying into a family in which one is required to play golf, Shawn was fortunate to play many of the world’s best courses. Shawn often broke 100, which sounds good, if you don’t know anything about golf. He was often paired with a caddy, who, upon seeing Shawn’s skill set, would just shrug his shoulders and say, “Eh, Shawn, just give it a go.” You could say that “give it a go” attitude was Shawn’s mantra – don’t get too hung up on things, just have fun.
In 2006 Shawn was blessed with the “gift of life,” a kidney, from a deceased donor. Shawn used that gift, living life to the fullest, appreciative of every minute he was given.
Shawn was a gifted photographer, incredible uncle, movie aficionado, loyal Chicago Cubs fan, basketball enthusiast, and he loved going to Walt Disney World – even that time that he was in line to ride his favorite attraction, Space Mountain, and his mom broke her tooth on a frozen chocolate-covered banana and they had to leave and go see a dentist.
Shawn’s family would like to thank Dr. Charles Andrews, Sarah Nicholas, Dr. Angelo Vu, Dr. Shea Holt, Dr. Muhammed Beg, Mark Davis, Dr. Caitlin Siropades, Dr. Stephanie Houck, as well as his many nurses and other medical professionals for their wonderful care, compassion and support.
Shawn was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Arthur and June O’Connell; and maternal grandparents, Gerald and Lillian Michels; father, Thomas O’Connell; brother-in-law, Kyle Gamewell; and cat, Boo.
Survivors: He is survived by his wife, Kelly; corgis, Harry and Casey; mother, Sandra O’Connell; brother, Daniel O’Connell and wife, Margie; sister, Kelly Gamewell; mother- and father-in-law, Ruth and Bruce McNeil; sisters and brothers-in-laws, Heather and Corbett Nichter, Katherine and Christopher Fergusson and Shannon McNeil and Beau Scroggins; and many nieces and nephews and good friends.