Obituary: Charles “Ray” O’Connell, 81

Charles “Ray” O’Connell, 81, a lifelong resident of Southborough, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester after a short illness.

He was the husband of Kathleen (DePatie) O’Connell for 43 years.

Ray was a 1950 graduate of the former Peter’s High School of Southborough and attended Bentley College in Waltham. He was also with the Army National Guard. He served the Town of Southborough for 40 years, retiring as a Police Sergeant in 1987. His duties over the years included that of Court Officer at the Westborough District Court. After retirement, he continued to work for the department as a Special Officer. Ray also served as the Town Constable and was on the Southborough Personnel Board for a number of years.

He was a member of St. Matthew Parish in Southborough and was active in Southborough youth sports while his children participated. Ray could frequently be found keeping busy working on his yard, swimming in his pool and on police details around town. He was an avid Boston sports fan and enjoyed watching Red Sox, Celtics and Patriots games any night of the week. In the winter months he enjoyed spending time at his retirement home in Englewood, FL. However, his greatest joy was time spent with his family, especially his grandchildren.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, Michael O’Connell and his wife Wendy of Southborough and his grandchildren Sadie and Jake; daughter Katie O’Connell of Davidson, NC; his sister Jean McCarthy and her husband Paul of Marlborough and many nieces and nephews.

Visiting hours will be held on Sunday, June 1, from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM at the Morris Funeral Home, 40 Main St. Southborough.

A Mass of Christian burial will be held on Monday, June 2, at 10:00 AM at St. Matthew Church, Highland St., Southborough. Burial will follow in Lakeview Cemetery in Upton.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Reliant Medical Group Foundation’s Oncology Fund, 100 Front St., Worcester, MA 01608 Online donations in Ray’s memory may be made on their website, ; Funds will help provide grants for patients of the Oncology Department to assist with costs for care in excess of those covered by insurance.

To leave words of condolences for the family, please visit

(Obituary via  Morris Funeral Home)

Updated (6/2/14 8:45 am) I’m sharing the photo from the Southborough Police Department’s Facebook page. I’m also copying their message into the comments below.

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John Rooney
9 years ago

I only had the privilege of knowing Ray for the past four years.

We met in the town hall parking lot late one evening. He waited the better part of 90 minutes to make sure I understood that my vote on an issue that evening was incorrect. Thereafter, we came to converse on a regular basis. I so looked forward to our talks; he had my cell number, I his.

His passion for the town was unparalleled and his unselfish approach to this town’s residents resonated during every conversation. The town has lost a true gentleman, a man who genuinely cared for this town and its residents, a man you were proud to call your friend. Godspeed my friend. Enjoy the happiness of your immortality. JR

Sal Giorlandino
9 years ago

Although I only knew my good friend Ray O’Connell for less than a decade, it was like I’d known him my entire life. I first met him in 2007, when I was on the Board of Selectmen. He introduced himself to me while he was working on a Police detail in Town (he was retired then but did Police details on occasion). He said in a teasing and rascally tone: “Well young man what are you going to do for me as Selectman?” Following his cue, I said: “I don’t know officer; you tell me.” We had a big laugh and over the course of the next seven years we developed a great friendship. In recent years, and up until the week before he passed away, we spoke to each other approximately once a week by phone or in person over coffee at Dunkin Donuts. Ray was such a kind and caring soul. Four years ago, when I was being treated for colorectal cancer, Ray followed very closely the progress of my recovery. He was the best medicine any one could have. I’m going to miss you Ray. Rest in peace my friend. You earned your passage through the gates of St. Peter a very long time ago.

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