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Paul O'Connell
  • Donations may be made in Paul's memory to Doctors without Borders

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Paul O'Connell died peacefully Friday morning, Nov. 14th, 2015.
Born on Dec. 15, 1924, Paul was the last of 9 children born to Catherine and William O'Connell. He grew up in Cambridge and at age 18 joined the Army Air Corps serving as a First Lt. in WWII. He was a navigator on a B-17 bomber and, while on a mission, his plane was shot down and the entire crew was captured and sent to a POW camp in Germany. Returning home, he, along with 3 of his brothers, went to Harvard University on the GI Bill. He married his first wife, Eleanor, while in school. They had six children: Brian, Eileen, Phillip, Douglas, Donald and Lori. Paul spent his career as a college textbook publisher working first as an Editor for Prentice Hall. He stayed at Prentice Hall for 25 years and while there published The Jerome Biblical Commentary, among hundreds of other texts. In 1969, he and a partner started Winthrop Publishers, a subsidiary of Prentice Hall, focusing on texts in the humanities and social sciences. Paul served as Chairman of the Board of Winthrop until 1983. It was at Winthrop where he met his current wife, Phyllis. The have been married for 45 years and have two children, Stephanie and Kirsten. In post-retirement years, Paul worked as a consultant for Lyceum Press, Bobbs Merrill, Dorsey Press, Pine Forge Press and Lyceum Press. He took his last business trip to an academic convention in Dallas at age 85. Paul loved to travel and favorite spots were France and Italy. His hobbies included singing in church choirs, amateur musicals and, in the last two years, singing with a small vocal group at Youville House, the assisted living facility where he lived. Golf was also a lifetime hobby and he played tennis until his hips gave out. Paul was an avid sports fan of every Boston team, and a day didn't begin until he had read the Boston Globe.
He leaves his wife, Phyllis, his 8 children, 9 grandchildren, and 3 great-grandchildren.
A Memorial Service will be held Sunday, Nov. 22nd at 2:00 p.m. in Wayland, at First Parish, Unitarian Universalist. The church is located at the intersection of Route 20 and Route 126.
Donations may be made in Paul's memory to Doctors without Borders