Jean Ellen O’Connell, 94, of Geneva passed away at home on Sunday, Aug. 22, 2021, after a lifetime of love and laughter.
She was born in Evanston, Ill., on Aug. 18, 1927, to Chester and Edna Gould. Her family later moved to Woodstock, where she spent her childhood years.
Jean attended Stephens College, earning an Associate degree in fine arts and then attended The Art Institute in Chicago, earning a B.A. in interior design. After college, she worked as an interior designer for Hotpoint in Chicago and then St. Charles Kitchens in St, Charles, Ill.
She met and married Richard O’Connell, and they made a life for themselves in Geneva. Jean became a stay-at-home mother for their two children, Tracy and Sue. She became active in the community, joining the Young Mothers Club and becoming a Girl Scout leader and later worked part time at The Little Traveler. Her faith in God would be tested in 1981 when her husband suffered a massive stroke, She cared for him for 21 years, until his death in 2002.
Jean had a wonderful, warm and loving heart. She always looked at the bright side and loved to laugh. She enjoyed entertaining, get-togethers with friends and neighbors, and traveling with her family.
Her sense of style was apparent, in both her home and her attire. She was always well-dressed with perfectly coordinating accessories. As in life, God is always testing us, and she handled the good, as well as the difficult times, with dignity and grace. Her kind heart, determination, and positive attitude inspired those around her up until her last day.
Jean is survived by her son, Tracy (Cynthia) O’Connell, and her daughter, Sue (Brett) Sanders, both of Geneva; two grandchildren, Megan (Robert) Snyder of Longmont, Colo., and Elizabeth (Connor) Keith of Gallatin, Tenn.; and her great-grandson, Jackson Snyder.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Richard.
Jean was cared for by many compassionate and supportive caregivers. Her family wishes to thank them for their loving care, which allowed Jean to remain in her home in her later years.
In lieu of flowers, the family has chosen the Chapel Street Church of Geneva, Ill., or The Geneva History Museum for donations.
Burial will be private. A celebration of Jean’s life will be held at a later date.
For further information, please call Yurs Funeral Home, Geneva, 630-232-7337.