JANICE O’CONNELL

Date of Birth

September 26, 1937

Date of Death

May 28, 2021

Janice O’Connell, age 83, of Sugar Grove, passed away peacefully and claimed the promise of her Savior, Friday, May 28, 2021.

She was born September 26, 1937, in Big Rock, IL, to proud and loving parents, Wayne and Norine (Nickels) Florence.

Janice grew up in Big Rock and attended local schools. She graduated with the class of 1955 from Big Rock High School where she cheered from the sidelines for her beloved basketball team. Although she cheered with all her heart, Janice only had eyes for the “water boy” and manager, Edward O’Connell. Their high school romance blossomed into marriage when they walked down the aisle hand in hand and heart to heart, on May 5, 1956. They celebrated their love with love and laughter for the next 65 years.

They began their new life together in a house Ed built in Sugar Grove and began raising a family. They first welcomed home a son Edward, and followed with four daughters, Debra, Colleen, Sherry and Michele made the family complete.

She was a faithful member and lector of St. Katherine Drexel Catholic Church. In her younger years, she was a 4-H Leader and active in AFS.  She was also an aide for English as a Second Language at Waubonsee Community College.

Janice had a passion for light houses that was born from Door County and became the families guiding light. Janice worked tirelessly to care for her husband and family. It was a fulltime job, and then some. She never failed to go above and beyond for anything her family needed.

Even when she sat, she kept busy sewing all the clothes for herself, her children, not to mention wedding dresses, Halloween costumes and doll clothes. Wheel of Fortune was a staple on the television, and she always had a book, often a romance novel, sitting on the table from the library. She took many trips through her imagination, reading book after book, but the family traveled as well. Trips to her family’s cottage in Door County were followed by winters in Arizona and later Florida. They also travelled to Alaska, Hawaii and added international destinations like South Africa, from where they hosted an AFS student, Ireland, Mexico and Holland. Family was first in Janice’s heart and everyone had a special place, just for them. Hosting holidays and surrounding herself with children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, made her the happiest person in the world.

She is survived by her five children: Ed (Debra) O’Connell, Debbie (Tim) Torres, Colleen (Steve) Paulsen, Sherry (Joe) Hernandez and Michele (Clint) Phillips; 11 grandchildren: Erin (T.C.) Watson, Emily (Ryan Thomas) O’Connell, Steven Torres, Mark (Adrienne Prentice) Torres, Scott (Teresa) Paulsen, Eric (Katie) Paulsen, Jamie Guzick, Laura Guzick, Riley, Kyle and Blake Phillips; 5 great-grandchildren: Hunter Watson, Lily Watson, Vinnie Fulco, Peyton Paulsen and Raelynn Paulsen; four siblings: Robert (Patti Delsart) Florence, Ron Florence, Susan Florence and Linda (Gary) Bellak; many nieces, nephews and a family of friends.  

She is preceded in death by her parents, Wayne and Norine Florence and now joins her loving husband Ed O’Connell Sr who passed away April 2, 2021.  

Visitation will be from 9-11 a.m., Tuesday, June 1, 2021, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. A Mass to celebrate her faith will begin at 12 p.m., also on Tuesday, at St. Katherine Drexel Catholic Church, 8S055 Dugan Rd, Sugar Grove, IL 60554. Fr. Bob Jones, pastor of the church, will officiate with interment to follow at Kaneville Cemetery, Kaneville, IL.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Farm Friends NFP, 45W134 Raymond Rd., Big Rock, IL 60511. Tributes and memories may be shared on the Conley Funeral Home Facebook Page, or at www.conleycare.com.

Visitation will be from 9-11 a.m., Tuesday, June 1, 2021, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. A Mass to celebrate her faith will begin at 12 p.m., also on Tuesday, at St. Katherine Drexel Catholic Church, 8S055 Dugan Rd, Sugar Grove, IL 60554. Fr. Bob Jones, pastor of the church, will officiate with interment to follow at Kaneville Cemetery, Kaneville, IL.

3 thoughts on “JANICE O’CONNELL

  1. Sherry,
    I am so sorry for you and your entire family. You’ve all been through so much these last few months. What a loving tribute to your Mother, in the obituary above. She was a lovely woman and I’m so deeply sorry for your loss. — MC Coolidge

  2. Memories of Ed & Janice will always remain with both of us, as we recall their outgoing personalities while meeting with them @ family picnics, lunch at a restaurant, visiting & sightseeing in Arizona, and yes, even. meeting with them unexpectedly aboard ship in Hawaii. Their willingness to enjoy life around them are traits that were endearing to all they met. RIP!
    Carol & Clare

  3. We were so shocked and grieved to hear of Janice’s passing so soon after Ed’s. They were good friends of ours. Janice sewed many things for us. Made goose clothes, alterations and etc. They will be missed by so many people. Harold worked with Ed at Caterpillar Tractor Co. and he did some projects for us in our home.

    We appreciated the obit. What a lovely tribute. So sorry we were out of town for another Memorial Service of our brother-in-law in Carlinville, IL. so we were unable to be at the services for Janice.

    You are in our thoughts and prayers in your sudden and great loss. God bless you. Ruth & Harold Williamson

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