Mary Jane O'Connell, 85, homemaker, secretary

April 03, 2004

Mary Jane O'Connell, a homemaker, died of cancer March 27 at Joseph Richey Hospice in Baltimore. The Catonsville resident was 85.

She was born Mary Jane Peters in Rockford, Ill., and raised on Fulton Avenue. She was a 1936 graduate of Mount St. Agnes High School and received a business degree from Mount St. Agnes College in Mount Washington.

Mrs. O'Connell was a secretary at Maryland Casualty Co. in the mid-1940s and returned to work as a part-time legal secretary in Catonsville in 1965. After several years, she retired. In 1968 she bought a yellow Camaro Rally Sport, which she drove until two months ago.

"She bought the car because she liked the color," said her son, Michael O'Connell of Mount Washington. "She kept the original paint job and replaced its vinyl top a couple times. People were always inquiring about buying the car. One day a Catonsville firetruck followed her home, and its driver asked to buy it."

Mrs. O'Connell was a member of the St. Agnes and Spring Grove hospital auxiliaries. An avid Orioles fan, she attended many games at Memorial Stadium and Camden Yards.

A Mass was offered Wednesday at St. Mark Roman Catholic Church in Catonsville, where she was a member.

Other survivors include her husband of nearly 62 years, Frederick Joseph O'Connell, a retired civilian worker at Fort Meade; another son, Patrick O'Connell of Columbia; and four grandchildren.

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