Cover photo for Bernard O'Connell's Obituary
1925 Bernard 2016

Bernard O'Connell

July 11, 1925 — July 23, 2016

Obituary Image

Bernard "Bun" H. O'Connell, the son of late Charles G. and Beatice (Berube) O'Connell was born in Northampton, Ma. July 11, 1925 and died on Saturday, July 23, 2016 in Tallahassee, FL. He didn't suffer and passed peacefully in his sleep. He loved being active so the last few years were more challenging as age slowed him down.

Bun grew up in Florence, MA and, as a youth, he loved to hunt and fish and hike the local hills and trails. He never lost his love for the outdoors and especially fishing. Just a few days before he died, he and his son Mark spent the day fishing on his boat in the Gulf of Mexico.

He married Dorothy Faulkner in 1946. They both took up golf and it became their shared activity and the center of their social life for over 45 years. They loved to compete and were each proud that they had won one or more senior club championships and a number of couple championships. They had been married 66 years when Dorothy passed away in 2012.

During World War II he served as a sergeant with the 5Th Marine Division 13TH Marines. He landed on Iwo Jima on D-Day and he witnessed the famous flag raising on Mt Suribachi that has become the iconic symbol of the Marine Corps. His Unit also was first to land at Sasebo, Japan in the invasion of Japan at the close of the war. He was awarded The Presidential Unit Citation awarded to Assault Troops of the Fifth Amphibious Corps, the Asiatic-Pacific Ribbon, the Navy Occupation Medal and the Bronze Star. In 2014 he visited the WWII Memorial in Washington with his son Mark and his daughter-in-law Penny and then toured the Marine Corps Museum where they discovered he was in several photographs displayed in the Iwo Jima Section. He was always a proud Marine.

Bun served on the Northampton Board of Assessors for over 20 years and retired as the Chairman of the Board of Assessors in 1987. He also was a long time Cooperator for the Florence Savings Bank and served on the parish council of the former St Mary's Church. He was a Life Member of the 991 Lodge of Elks in Northampton.

Bun is predeceased by his wife Dorothy. He is survived by four sons, Daniel and his wife Debora, Chuck and his wife Dorothea and Kevin, all residing in Haydenville and Mark and his wife Penny in Tallahassee, FL. He leaves 8 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren. He also is survived by his brother Alan. His brothers Charles and Phil predeceased him.

The graveside funeral service with Military Honors will be held 11:00 am on Tuesday, August 9, 2016 at Tallahassee National Cemetery in Tallahassee, Florida.  Faith Funeral Home in Havana, FL is in charge of arrangements. 850-539-4300 -

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