Cover photo for Michael Leroy O'Connell's Obituary
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1945 Michael 2015

Michael Leroy O'Connell

December 23, 1945 — October 23, 2015

Michael Leroy O’Connell, of Groesbeck, at age 69, went to his heavenly home with the Lord, leaving behind his health struggles of the past year and one-half. He passed away at Groesbeck LTC on Friday morning, October 23, 2015, with his wife by his side. Visitation will be Sunday, October 25, 2015 from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. at Groesbeck Funeral Home. Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Monday, October 26, 2015 at the First Baptist Church of Groesbeck. Burial will follow in Old Bethel Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Ricky Blackmon, Jr., Bobby Carroll, Brandon Noey, Wil Floyd, Kyle Brizendine, Kody Daniel, Leonard Stewart, and Steven Posey. Honorary pallbearers will be Glen Collins, John Collins, and co-workers of BNSF Railroad, Teague. Michael was born at Shiloh on December 23, 1945 to Melvin Leroy O’Connell and Vida Marie (Carlisle) O’Connell. He grew up in Mexia, and graduated from Mexia High School Class of 1964. In addition to working while he was in school, he loved hunting with his family and friends. His love of hunting coons, birds, and deer, and love of his hunting dogs continued the rest of his life. Right out of school, Michael began working for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad as a yard clerk. He worked first in Mexia, then spent four years working in the Galveston yard office, and moved back to the Teague yard office. He retired in 2006 after a career of thirty-six years with BNSF. He continued to enjoy hunting all through the years, and was attached to his coon dogs, later Labs, and his current Blue Lacey dog, Jack. Michael was united in marriage with Reba Jo Morris on June 26, 1970 in Mexia. They made their home in Groesbeck, and Michael stepped in as a wonderful father to Reba’s girls, with one daughter, Amy, being born to Michael and Reba. Reba felt Michael was sent by the Lord in her life, and he was a wonderful husband during their forty-five years of devotion to each other. He was a loving and devoted father to the girls and especially loved the grandchildren, who also dearly loved their PawPaw. The girls admit he may have spoiled them rotten, but felt he was the living example of the quote: “Any man can make a child, but it takes a real man to make a father.” Amy said on their anniversary this year that Reba and Michael’s lives were the perfect example of “Faith, Hope, and Love” (I Corinthians 13:4-13.) Michael was a member of the First Baptist Church of Groesbeck. When Michael had a stroke in June 2014, Reba never left his side, spending every night for three months at the hospital, until he was in the nursing home. He knew he was loved all their days together, and Reba was by his side at the end. Michael was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Joann Cannon and Hildred Fisk; two brothers, Van O’Connell and Pat O’Connell; daughter, Beverly Baker; granddaughter, Macy McGilvray; grandson, Bryan Penney; grandson, Jayson Webster; and triplet granddaughters, Hollie, Rachel and Nicole Carroll. He is survived by his wife, Reba O’Connell of Groesbeck; daughters and sons-in-law: Dixie and Ricky Blackmon of Mexia, Yvonne Wilson of Groesbeck, and Amy and Monte McGilvray of Temple; ten grandchildren and their spouses: Tara and Kyle Brizendine of Largo, FL; Jerri and Wil Floyd of Mexia, Ricky and Sara Blackmon, Jr. of Mexia, Kimberly and Brandon Noey of Mexia, Bobby and Stacie Carroll of Groesbeck, Christina and Leonard Stewart of Round Rock, Kody Daniel of Teague, Kandis and Steven Posey of Centerville, Meghan McGilvray and Caitlin McGilvray of Temple; and nineteen great grandchildren. He also leaves behind a brother, Donnie O’Connell of Mexia; two sisters-in-law, Linda O’Connell of Mexia nd Kay O’Connell of Jacksonville; and numerous nieces and nephews.
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