- Mr. Russell L. Oliger
- Mrs. Marjorie L. Wheeler
- Mrs. Catherine A. Wills
- Mr. Donald D Simmerman
- Mr. Charles M. Rubert
- Mrs. Bonnie J. Keast
- Mrs. Alice J. Heggemeier
- Mrs. Virginia A. Inman
- Mr. Derwood B. Silvius
- Mrs. Alberta Ann (Blachford) Bowen
- Mrs. Mildred E. "Millie" Allen
- Mrs. Ana Roque
- Mrs. Jewel Alderton
- Ms. Dixie Lee Howard
- Mr. Glenn C. Geroux
- Mr. Klaus Hofmann
- Mr. Warren L. Baker
- Robert W. Champion
- Mr. Charles M. Rubert
September 25, 1996 - November 22, 2009
Future professional baseball player: Kevin O'Connell
Future professional baseball player Kevin O’Connell, 13, died unexpectedly Sunday morning, November 22, 2009 at SwedishAmerican Hospital in Belvidere, surrounded by his loving family, his eight-year battle with leukemia and graft-versus-host disease finally over.
Kevin was an incredible boy. He had an enthusiasm for life that few people create. He loved his family most of all. His friendship with Bennett went beyond brothers. They shared Bennett’s stem cells. On two separate occasions Ben endured the procedure to harvest his stem cells so that Kevin could live. He was rewarded with 6 wonderful extra years with a brother he will never forget. Kevin always made sure Ben knew how much he appreciated the gift of life Ben gave him. Second only to his family was his love of the Chicago Cubs and Green Bay Packers.
Kevin loved being active and athletic. His dad, Glenn, taught him how to fish before he was 2 years old. And Kevin loved the sport ever since. He could catch a fish when no one else could even bet a bump. He loved fishing near his home in Candlewick Lake and Up North at Lac Vieux Desert. Over the years he landed hundreds of beautiful Bass and Northern. He also loved to catch pan fish and have a fish fry. Glenn would filet the crappie, blue gill and perch Kevin and Bennett caught and Kevin’s mom, Jenni, would fry them in Kevin’s favorite breading.
It’s hard to say if Kevin loved one sport more than the other, but baseball could possibly have edged out basketball and football by a hair, at least for his own pleasure playing the sport. He first played baseball at the Belvidere Park District, then four years with Belvidere Youth Baseball where he met many great players and coaches. For the past two years he played with his best friends, JP, Chase, Austin and Jake on the PunkDogs. He was a natural at second base and could hit the ball hard. He had great coaches like Phil Pawlowski that treated him with respect and taught him a love of the game.
In the past two years Kevin started bowling competitively. He bowled on leagues at Concordia and Dodge Lanes, both in Belvidere. He also joined the Middle School League sponsored by Concordia. He was serious about his technique and would undoubtedly have excelled at bowling too.
Kevin was an eighth-grader at Belvidere Central Middle School where he had so many friends he couldn’t count them. Kevin was a great student. Last year, in seventh grade, he was named “Trailblazer” of the year. Mr. Lane and all the Trailblazer teachers made a lasting impression on Kevin. This year, although he was only able to attend a few weeks of school he was lucky to have a great homebound teacher, Matt Zilm. Matt did something not even Kevin’s mom could - he got Kevin interested in reading. Kevin was reading “The Outsiders” with Mr. Zilm. He talked a lot about how much he like that book.
Kevin had a special extended family. His paternal grandparents, Granny Pat and Bubba Chuck, lived across the street from him and he visited regularly. He loved to party with them for no special reason. His cousin Ryan considered Kevin like a brother. There was never a dull moment at Aunt Colleen and Uncle Ernie’s with five active kids. Niko, who was just six weeks younger than Kevin, Sabrina, Reagan, Brittany and Cody. On his mom’s side, Kevin had two more special cousins, David and Emily. Kevin looked forward to their visits together. He especially liked going to their house where his Aunt Mary and Uncle Brian would spoil him with anything he wanted. No request went unfulfilled. Kevin was equally loved by his maternal grandparents, Gramma Donna and Bubba Ed.
Kevin is survived by his parents, Glenn and Jenni (Long) O’Connell; brothers, Bennett, 10, and Sean, 1; paternal grandparents, Charles and Patricia (Douglas) O’Connell, Sr.; maternal grandparents, Edward and Donna (Sheehan) Long, Sr.; aunts and uncles, Colleen (Ernie) Argaez, Charles (Michele) O’Connell, Jr., Mary ( Brian) Dahowski, Edward (Lacey) Long, Kathy (Bill) Lipinski; cousins, Ryan, David, Emily, Niko, Sabrina, Reagan, Brittany, Cody; best friends, JP, Chase, Jake and Austin.
Liturgy of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, November 25, 2009 in St. James Catholic Church, 514 Caswell Street, Belvidere with Rev. Brian Geary celebrating. Prayers will be offered at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday at Buck-Wheeler-Hyland Funeral Home, 218 W. Hurlbut Ave., Belvidere, IL. Visitation will be from 3:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Tuesday at the funeral home with a scripture service at 7:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be given to the At Bat Foundation, care of Alpine Bank P.O. Box 6086, Rockford, IL 61125-1086, that Kevin created, in his memory.
Visitation: Funeral Home
Service: St. James-Belvidere