Happy 100th Birthday to Joann O’Connell!!

Submitted by daughter Jo Freedman


Joann O’Connell celebrating her 100th birthday!

Joann Powell O'Connell, a long time Hyde Park resident, recently celebrated her 100th birthday. Born on March 10, 1917 in Cincinnati and raised in Bridgetown, she was the youngest child of Ella and Richard Powell and had three siblings - brother Dick and sisters Genevieve and Eloise. The family lived on acreage big enough for a cow, pony, chickens and sheep dogs.

Joann attended St. Aloysius grade school, Sacred Heart Academy in Clifton and the University of Cincinnati, where she majored in English. In high school she enjoyed sewing many of her own clothes and liked to swim, run track and ride horses - especially her pony.

After graduating from U.C., Joann worked in retail at the former Shillitos department store, and in market research for Proctor and Gamble.

In 1943, Joann married Edward O'Connell from New York City. He was a West Point graduate, stationed at Ft. Thomas, whom she met on a blind date. After WWll, they began a 30 year army career while raising six children - Jo, Jed, Kathy, Beth, Ellen and Rich. They had tours of duty at West Point, the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and in Japan.

Upon Colonel O'Connell's retirement in 1959, the family returned to Cincinnati, where Joann has resided ever since. Hyde Park became home, and the family resided on Mooney Avenue until 1995, when Joann, as a widow, moved to the Grasmoor condominiums where she currently maintains her residence.

In the years living in Hyde Park, Joann enjoyed raising her children, attending their sporting events, PTA activities, school functions, graduations and planning family vacations to the beach and mountains.

In addition to her involvement with her children, Joann worked part‑time for over 30 years at Gattles when it was located in Hyde Park Square, and she maintains fond memories of her co‑workers and loyal customers. She would walk the few blocks to Gattles several times a week and considers Hyde Park to be a wonderful location for its convenience, atmosphere, community, social life and proximity to her church, St Mary.

Joann has always loved to travel and has taken trips with family, friends and even solo to many destinations including Asia, Europe, England, Ireland, Mexico and Alaska. The last big trip she took was to China when she was 90!

Joann is an avid bridge player and over the years has joined several bridge groups. It amazes everyone she continues to love the game - and win at it!

Her volunteer activities have included sewing for Children's Hospital with her friends at Hype Park Center for Older Adults and escorting residents of Hyde Park Health Center to Catholic Mass. She did this well into her late 90s.

Reminiscing about turning 100, Joann credits her long life to having the love of a caring and supportive family, a healthy life‑style, a positive attitude, good friends and an occasional bourbon and water. She looks forward to continuing with her cards, watching nightly Jeopardy on TV and reading the newspaper, historical novels and biographies as well as tackling the Enquirer crossword puzzle, cryptoquip and jumble.....seriously!

Joann O’Connell (center) surrounded by her loving children Beth Keegan, Ellen Boyer, Jed O'Connell, Jo Freedman, Kathy Shepard and Rich O'Connell

Joann's children hosted a 100th birthday party for her on March, 11 at Maketewah Country Club, where she was able to enjoy the company of her entire family, her children, grandchildren and great‑grandchildren and their families as well as friends and neighbors, old and new. It was a wonderful occasion. Congratulations, mom, on a life well‑lived!

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