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Welcome to the memorial page for

Mary Ann O'Connell

February 4, 1929 ~ June 17, 2017 (age 88)

Mary Ann O’Connell, 88, residing in South Bend, passed away peacefully at 7:00 am on Saturday, June 17, 2017 at Hospice House in South Bend. She was born February 4, 1929 in Saint Paul, Minnesota to the late Ambrose Riley and Elizabeth (Boyington) Pierce.  

Mary Ann married John O’Connell on March 26, 1951 at St. Rock’s Catholic Church in St. Louis, MO.  In addition to her loving husband of 66 years, she is survived by two daughters Mary Kay O’Connell of South Bend and Letitia (Victor) O’Connell Azar of Joliet, IL; two sons, Patrick (Judi) O’Connell and Robert R. (Teri) O’Connell both of Granger; four grandchildren, Dominic Azar, Teddy Azar, Riley O’Connell and Hannah O’Connell; and one sister, Virginia (William) Chais of Overland Park, KS.  

Mary Ann taught grade school in her younger years and later worked at the St. Joseph County Public Library as a reference librarian. She also did art and marketing for the library.  She was an active parishioner of both St. Joseph Catholic Church and St. Patrick Catholic Church of South Bend. Through the parishes she became active in refugee relocation programs. She also enjoyed being a member of the Schuyler Colfax Chapter of the DAR, Christ Child Society and Council Oak Rug Hookers Association. Art, in its many forms, constituted a major part of Mary Ann’s life. A talented painter and fabric artist, she crafted everything from family portraits, china paintings, needle work, embroidery. Her needlework and rug hooking, in particular, was often exquisite.  She was a gifted seamstress who sewed vestments and banners for the church and even made her own wedding gown. She was a voracious reader, a trait she handed down to her children. She mentored and advocated literacy programs at both St. Adalbert’s Catholic Church and the public library.  She was also an enthusiastic genealogist. But all in all, she most loved being a homemaker and a loving wife, mother and grandmother.

Friends may gather with Mary Ann’s family on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 from 5:00pm to 7:30 pm at Palmer Funeral Home~Hickey Chapel, 17131 Cleveland Road, South Bend, IN 46635. The rosary will be recited at 7:00 pm.  A Mass of Christian burial services will be held at 10:30am on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at St. Patrick Church, 309 South Taylor Street, South Bend, IN 46601. Rev. Cyril Fernandes will officiate. Graveside services and burial will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Notre Dame, IN.

Memorial donations may be made in memory of Mary Ann to the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Ministry With the Poor, Development Office – Saint Mary’s College, 407 Bertrand Hall, Notre Dame IN 46556, or to St. Patrick Church, 309 South Taylor Street, South Bend, IN 46601. Online condolences may be left for the O’Connell family at 

Charitable donations may be made to:

Sisters of the Holy Cross, Ministry With the Poor
Development Office – Saint Mary’s, 407 Bertrand Hall, Notre Dame IN 46556

St. Patrick Church
309 S. Taylor Street, South Bend IN 46601

 Service Information

June 20, 2017

5:00 PM to 7:30 PM
Palmer Funeral Home - Hickey Chapel
17131 Cleveland Road
South Bend, IN 46635

Recitation of the Rosary
June 20, 2017

7:00 PM
Palmer Funeral Home - Hickey Chapel
17131 Cleveland Road
South Bend, IN 46635

Mass of Christian Burial
June 21, 2017

10:30 AM
St. Patrick Catholic Church
309 S. Taylor Street
South Bend, Indiana 46601

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