Daniel C. O’Connell, 96, Arbor Vitae, passed away peacefully Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. He was born Dec. 30, 1917 in Milwaukee, to Daniel and Christine (Walters). Dan was a 1936 graduate of Pio Nono high school in Milwaukee. He was a gifted athlete, and was quarterback of a high school football team that went undefeated and unscored upon in his senior year. Dan was very proud to have attended the University of Wisconsin for a year and a half until he had to leave to help support his family when his father passed away.
As much as he loved sports, he loved the great outdoors even more. After serving his country during World War II in the Merchant Marines, this love eventually lured him to the Northwoods, where in 1947, he got into the resort business as owner of Shorecrest on Muskellunge Lake. He enjoyed all the typical outdoor activities, but enjoyed fishing on both open water and on ice the best. Most of all, it was about the simple pleasures of living in this beautiful place, like soaking up some sun in a chair in the back yard.
On Sept. 19, 1959, he married his longtime sweetheart, Arline, in the first wedding ceremony held at St John Vianney Church in Lake Tomahawk. Dan and Arline were hosts to many family and friends who visited Shorecrest. They opened their hearts and their home to all those who passed through their front door at Muskellunge Lake. Anyone who has been there, during the resort days or after, know that “Shorecrest Lodge is the Place …”
With the resort business being seasonal, Dan got into real estate and also drove school bus for Bowen’s Bus Service transporting children to and from Newbold Grade School. Dan eventually sold off the resort cottages to people who regularly rented specific units as he moved on to the real estate business full time. With the support of his brother-in-law, “Red” Mooney, Dan opened his own office, O’Connell Real Estate in Lake Tomahawk. Through this avenue, Dan helped others to realize their dream of owning property in the Northwoods.
Dan was very active in community service in Lake Tomahawk, including St. John Vianney Church, The Lions Club, and The American Legion. He volunteered at every opportunity, and enjoyed helping others.
He enjoyed spending time with family and friends, in particular, his children and grandchildren. One of his rituals for many years was the annual fishing adventure with his son, John, to Ontario, Canada, which he did until he was 90 years old. He was an avid Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Brewers fan. He was proud of his Irish heritage, and that was often on display in the colors he wore, the smile on his face and the twinkle in his eye.
Above all, he cherished every moment with his wife, Arline. Anyone who met this couple could see and feel the depth of the love between them.
Survivors include his beloved wife of 54 years, Arline; his two children, John (Joanne) of Green Bay and Kathleen of Rockford, Ill.; grandchildren Kellen, Claire and Katherine of Green Bay; sister-in-law Jayne of Atlanta, Ga.; and the many loving members of the O’Connell – Rooney – Mooney clan.
He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings Jane, Kathleen, Betty, James and Martin.
Visitation will be held at Holy Family Catholic Church in Woodruff, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 10-11:00 a.m., with Funeral Mass at 11 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations to the Lake Tomahawk Lions Club or the American Legion Post #318 would be appreciated.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.nimsgernfuneral.com.
Nimsgern Funeral & Cremation Services is handling the arrangements.