Irish wake Wednesday for Michael O'Connell of Woodiside


An Irish wake for Woodside Glens resident Michael Dan O'Connell is set for 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 17, at Bach Dancing & Dynamite Society in Half Moon Bay.

Mr. O'Connell, a career machinist, an elementary school basketball coach and a birdwatcher and backpacker in the Sierra Nevada, died in his sleep on July 18. He was 75.

A native of Texas, he grew up in Wyoming as the son of a driller for oil and uranium. He was married three times. His 33-year career as a machinist with United Airlines began in Los Angeles, where he moved in hopes of playing saxophone in a jazz band.

After relocating to the Bay Area, he avidly followed local major league sports and coached basketball at Woodside Elementary School. His major accomplishments include a well-restored 1965 Austin Healey, and his home, which he built "mostly by himself," his family said.

"His humor and his presence was always special. People would say he was the coolest guy they ever met, and he was," his family said.

Mr. O'Connell is survived by his wife Julia O'Connell; former wives Marilyn Webb of Flower Mound, Texas, and Wanda Bambury of North Lake Tahoe; sisters Denise Evans of Scottsdale, Arizona, and Gwen Matthews of Raleigh, North Carolina; brother Ken O'Connell of Colorado Springs; daughters Shannon O'Connell of San Diego and Ashley Willwerth; son Michael Joseph O'Connell of Woodside; and a grandson.

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Like this comment
Posted by Jan Sollish
a resident of Woodside School
on Aug 12, 2016 at 5:43 pm

I am so very sorry to hear this. Michael Joe was in my 3rd grade class at Woodside. He and Brady were good friends and we were close to Mike and Julie as well. My prayers are with his family.

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