Helen Jean O'Connell

Passed away peacefully in the presence of her loving family on Saturday, November 30, 2019 in her 92nd year.Our Mother is now holding hands with her beloved husband, the late Major Brian Paul O'Connell.Predeceased by her parents, George and Jean Cutbill and stepmother, Gladys Cutbill.Mother's presence in our lives was a precious gift. She touched many with her enduring love, absolute joy and was a safe harbor in troubled times. Her incredible optimism cascaded to each of us. She treated everyone with the same dignity and respect.She was an avid volunteer for many years at The Queensway-Carleton Hospital. Also, she was one of the original founders of The Owl's Nest at The Old Forge Community Center in Ottawa. Our Mother enjoyed traveling with our Father to postings in Canada and Europe. Later in her senior years she continued her travel adventures with friends.She has been a “Mother” for those who never had a Mother. When she married our Father I was thankful for becoming a daughter of her heart. Her twins, Colin and Colleen hold her heart with love because she left loving footprints on theirs.There are many people to thank who helped our Mother live independently in her own place.Her son, Colin dedicated his book “Voices and Echoes: Canadian Women's Spirituality” to our Mother. We are thankful to our brother, as he helped organize many aspects of her life.

Our Mother's social connections enabled her to enjoy a good quality of life. Thank you to her neighbors and friends who helped our Mother to live her life on her own terms.Mum will be greatly missed by her son, Dr. Colin O'Connell and his wife, Catherine Li of Brockville. Her daughter, Colleen O'Connell and her husband, David Cybulski of Maitland, and myself, Lynne O'Connell and partner, Bill de Carle of Westmeath, brothers Jack Cutbill and his wife, Norma of Kingston, and Ronald Cutbill and his wife Sharon of Ottawa.Also missed by her nephews Ted Cutbill, Steve Cutbill and niece Laurel Bennett. She will always be missed by her grandchildren Elizabeth, Rebecca and Daniel Smalley, Luke Schultz, Emily Schultz and partner Simon Wark,  Sherry Dai  and husband Terry Wang as well as her step-grandchildren Scott Cybulski and Julie Cybulski. Our Mother was thrilled being “Big Grandma” to her great grandson, Tesher Wang as well as Cicely and Callum Cybulski and Ethan Girard.

Visitation will be at the Barclay Funeral Home, 137 Pearl Street East, Brockville on Thursday, December 05 from 9:30 to 11:00 AM, followed by a Celebration of Life service officiated by Reverend Kimberly Heath from Wall Street United Church. A reception will follow the service.Interment will take place at Pinecrest Cemetery, Ottawa, at a later date.Donations would be greatly appreciated to the charity, Our Kenyan Kids. Messages of condolence may be sent online at www.barclayfuneralhome.com 


“Perhaps there are not stars,

but rather openings in heaven

where the love of our lost one

pours through and shines down upon us

to let us know they are happy!”