TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA - Dorothy (Dottie) Faulkner O'Connell, 85, formerly of Northampton, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, at the Center Pointe Nursing Home in Tallahassee, Florida after a long struggle with Alzheimer's.
Dottie was born on September 1, 1927 in Northampton, the daughter of the late William Faulkner and Helen (O'Shea) O'Riley. She was raised and educated in Northampton and was a graduate of Northampton High School.
Dorothy leaves her beloved husband of 66 years, Bernard (Bun) O'Connell; her children, Dan O'Connell and his wife Debbie of Haydenville, Mark O'Connell and his wife Penny of Tallahassee Florida, Chuck O'Connell and his wife Dottie of Scottsdale Arizona, and Kevin O'Connell of Greenfield; 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. Her grandson, Daniel O'Connell Jr. passed away in 1989 at the age of 18 after a lifelong struggle with Cystic Fibrosis. She leaves her sisters, Patricia Vargas of Stonington, CT and Margaret Stephens of Kennewick, WA.and their children.
Dottie worked for Verizon and the former New England Telephone Company for over 30 years, retiring in 1987. Dottie and her husband moved to Largo, FL in 1993 and relocated to Tallahassee in 2003. During her working years she was active in the Telephone Pioneers and served as the head of the Denver Chapter. The Pioneers is a charitable organization supported by the telephone company and depends on volunteer employees to coordinate its charitable activities. This was a passion of Dottie for many years.
Dottie's other passion was golf and it provided so many wonderful shared experiences with her husband and sons throughout her life. For a long time the biggest challenge in the O'Connell family was trying to beat Mom at golf. She was Women's Club Champion several times at various clubs and managed three holes-in-one during her life. She was able to continue playing past her 80th birthday.
Before Alzheimer's robbed her of the ability to remember and share, she told her son that her life was different now. She no longer had any yesterday's and couldn't remember most of the good times in her life but God was kind enough to take away the bad memories too. Her husband was her constant lovegiver and sat beside her and held her hand every day as her life and memories faded away.
The family will be observing a private memorial service at the convenience of the family from the Drozdal Funeral Home of Northampton followed by burial in St. Mary's Cemetery. There are no calling hours. Donations in Dorothy's memory may be made to the Alzheimer's Association , 311 Arsenal Street, Watertown, MA 02472.
Faith Funeral Home in Havana is in charge of local arrangements (850.539.4300 or www.faithfuneralhome.com)