William Patrick O’Connell

Date of Death

August 15, 2022

William Patrick O’Connell, humorist, foodie, US Navy Veteran, sharp dresser, and true Irishman, passed away on Monday, August 15, 2022.

Bill was born in 1925 to Irish immigrants, Peter O’Connell and Mary Mckiernan in Providence, Rhode Island. He enlisted in the United States Navy at only 17 years old, where he served honorably for the following three years through the end of WWII.

Bill met his beloved wife of 65 years, Caroline O’Connell, at Yellowstone National Park. In 1955, Bill and Caroline moved to Santa Barbara and began their lives together. Bill’s profound love for Caroline was apparent to anyone he met – he often cited their marriage as his greatest accomplishment.

Nicknamed, “Heck of a Nice Guy,” Bill was well-loved for his sense of humor, beautiful blue eyes, and Irishman’s spirit. He had a life-long love of mashed potatoes, a good cup of tea, homemade bread, and really anything that came from Caroline’s kitchen. He enjoyed storytelling, making people laugh, watching any history documentary he could get his hands on, and spending time with family.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, Peter and Mary O’Connell; his sister, Mary Newman; and his brothers, Tom O’Connell, and Peter O’Connell. He is survived by his wife, Caroline O’Connell; his five children: Daniel O’Connell, Erin O’Connell, Mary O’Connell McEwen, William O’Connell, and Michael O’Connell; and his four grandchildren: David Kostigen, William O’Connell, Madeline McEwen, and Michael Patrick O’Connell.

There will be a graveside service held at 1:15 pm on Friday, August 19, 2022, at the Santa Barbara Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the National Parkinson’s Foundation. Arrangements entrusted to Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Chapels.


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