U of L mourns passing of O'Connell

The University of Lethbridge community lost a longtime supporter of the institution this past week with the passing of Dr. Dennis O'Connell.

O'Connell was both a Board of Governors member and Senate member, and in 2005 received an honorary degree from the U of L for his community service work as Chamber of Commerce/economic development promoter. He passed away Wednesday, Sept. 15 at the age of 88.

O'Connell came to Canada from London, Eng., as a young pilot during the Second World War, and served as a flight instructor in the Commonwealth Air Training Program in Brandon, Man., and Lethbridge. He later served in England, but returned to Lethbridge in 1946 and worked for Air Canada.

In 1948, he became the Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce manager and created numerous economic development programs for the city. In the late 1960s, O'Connell began working for the City of Lethbridge, where he was the director of economic development until his retirement.

O'Connell initiated the study that would lead to the establishment of the University of Lethbridge.

A complete obituary is available at this Lethbridge Herald website.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 22 at the St. Augustine's Anglican Church.