Veronica O'Connell

Veronica (Vera) Sharkey O’Connell, a longtime resident of Bloomfield NJ, died on March 20, 2018. She was born August 8, 1928 to Dominic and Delia Sharkey in Montclair, NJ. She was a graduate of Montclair High School and The Berkley School and was a 57 year parishioner of St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Bloomfield.

In 1955 she married Daniel F. O’Connell Jr and spent the early part of her married life travelling with him as he played for four Major League baseball teams. She once flew cross country with three children under the age of five to be together as a family while he played for the San Francisco Giants. After her husband died suddenly in 1969, Vera devoted her life to raising their four children, Maureen (John) Hurley, Nancy (Dan) Mellin, Daniel (Leslie) and John. In addition to her husband, Vera was predeceased by two sisters, Madeline Sharkey and Mildred (Walter) O’Brien, and a brother Clifford Sharkey. She is survived by a sister Joan (Jerry) Carville and by nine grandchildren, Caroline, Brian and Millie Hurley, Daniel and Emily Mellin and Patricia, Danny, Charlie and Tommy O’Connell, all of whom loved her dearly and considered Vera “the perfect Grandma.”

Vera was blessed with a strong faith in God, attended daily mass for decades and many of those she loved were the beneficiaries of the numerous prayers she offered each day through her “stack of prayer cards.” Vera credited her faith in helping her overcome the early loss of her husband and in her lifelong gratitude for her “four healthy children and nine healthy grandchildren.” Vera was loved by her two son in laws, her daughter in law and her many nieces and nephews for her “endearing kindness” and her “sweet smile.” Everyone who knew her witnessed her constant interest in others and her efforts to always shine the spotlight on someone other than herself.

Vera lived for 57 years on Fairway and considered it an idyllic place to raise her family. When her four children relocated out of state the neighbors became her second family, always keeping an eye out for her. Vera was an avid walker and was always quick to offer an encouraging word and a compliment to everyone she met along the way. In July 2016 she left her beloved Fairway and moved to Hockessin, Delaware to be closer to her son.

Given Vera’s lifelong caring for others and enduring faith in God, she has undoubtedly earned her place among the communion of saints. We know she will continue to pray for each of us every day.

Visitation will take place at the Hugh M. Moriarty Funeral Home, 76 Park Street, Montclair on Sunday from 2-7PM. A mass of Christian burial will take place on Monday at 10AM at St. Thomas the Apostle Church at 60 Byrd Avenue, Bloomfield. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to St. Thomas the Apostle Church, (Vera’s home away from home) or to Saint Jude’s Research Hospital at www.stjude.org.