Gilbert Edson O’Connell, a resident of Moss Creek Plantation on Hilton Head, age 79, died on October 15, 2019 in Hilton Head, SC as a result of a stroke.
Born in 1940 in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Gil was a graduate of Blair Academy in Blairstown, New Jersey, Harvard College and Yale Law School. After graduation from Yale in 1964, he served briefly in the United States Army Reserve, from which he was released to accept a direct commission as a Lieutenant (Special Duty, Law) in the United States Naval Reserve. He was an associate at the New York City law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore for eight years, specializing in real estate, corporate and securities law. After moving to Boston in 1973, he was General Counsel of Boston Financial Technology Group, a real estate investment firm, of which he later became one of its Managing Directors. In 1987, he joined with several associates in establishing Norwich Capital, a real estate investment and management company, of which he remained a Managing Director until his retirement in 2012. After retirement, he moved to Moss Creek but remained a consultant in connection with the operations of various real estate firms in which he retained a financial interest.
In addition to his business activities, in past years Gil served on the boards of several charitable organizations, including the Interfaith AIDS Ministry of Boston, of which he was one of the founding members; the Vestry of the Church of the Redeemer, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts; The League School of Boston, a facility for handicapped children; and Community Workshops, an organization that employed the disabled so that they could live somewhat independently through working in a monitored environment. Gil was a member of various patriotic genealogical organizations, including the Massachesetts Society of Mayflower Descendants, the Pennsylvania Society of Sons of the Revolution, and the Society of Colonial Wars of Massachusetts and of South Carolina. He delighted in the study of history and genealogy and enjoyed the many foreign trips he took over the years.
He was the son of the late James O’Connell and Helen Louise O’Connell, nee Edson, both of Scranton, Pennsylvania. His first wife, Mary Emily O’Connell, nee Crigler, and his two brothers, James Edson O’Connell and J. Barry O’Connell, predeceased him. He is survived by his beloved and caring wife, Sandra Lee O’Connell, nee Hall, by his three daughters, Victoria Elizabeth O’Connell; Catherine Edson Katz (Michelle) of Los Angeles, CA; Emily Crigler Lambert (Dana) of Larchmont, NY; and two stepdaughters, Elizabeth Turner Baron (Michael) of State College, PA; and Lynn Turner Pitcavage (Edward) of Charlotte, VT. His grandchildren include Abbey and Samuel Pitcavage; Owen, Grant, and Claire Baron; Schuylar and Sutton Lambert; and many nieces and nephews. He is fondly remembered by family and friends for his wit, abundant knowledge, and stories that made history come alive.
A funeral service and internment will be at the Memorial Garden of the Church of the Redeemer in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, at a time to be announced. In lieu of flowers, friends may contribute to Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Division of Development, PO Box 849168, Boston, MA 02284-9168 or a charity of their choice.
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