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In Remembrance of Armour (Army) OConnell

17 November, 1924 ~ 9 August, 2008
Mimico, ON, Canada



Obituary - O'CONNELL, Armour (Army) - died peacefully, with his family by his side, at K-W Health Centre of Grand River Hospital, Kitchener, on Saturday, August 9, 2008.
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Memory by Gary O'Connell   Apr 6, 2010
'Volunteer Receives National Award' - article reproduced from 'Hospital and Home Highlights, Vol. 5, Number 3, January 1988.

The article reads -

"Armour O'Connell, who has volunteered at St Joseph's for the past 15 years, has been awarded with the Canada Volunteer Award, Certificate of Merit. The presentation was made to "Army" on December 23 by Bill Winegard, M.P. for Guelph.

"Army" O'Connell has devoted most of his adult life to helping others, both as a volunteer and on an individual basis.

While caring for his father, who was a patient in the hospital's Continuinh Care Unit, Army began to help other patients suffering from life threatening illness who needed someone to "be there" for them. Army spends an average of six-to-seven hour day at St. Joseph's, feeding patients, visiting and lending a helping hand wherever it's needed.

A perfect example of Army's loving patience is the work he has done with the 27-year-old female patient in the Continuing Care Unit who developed an inoperable pituitary gland tumor when she was twelve. Army spends many hours teaching her to use her communications board and practice with the puzzles designed to help with her co-ordination.

"I have observed Army from across the staff cafeteria as he patiently assists the young woman to eat," says Jacqui Lewis, the former director of Volunteer Services at St Joseph's.

"Army makes sure that she is taken to any recreational activity she is able to enjoy."

A World War II veteran who hsa spent several years in veteran's hospitals following the war, Army had a personal experience with a Salvation Army volunteer who visited him faithfully while in hospital. This volunteer's caring attitude shaped Army's outlook on life. Upon his release from hospital, Army worked at the W.C. Wood Company in Guelph for 19 years. He suffered an industrial accident which resulted in the amputation of his left hand. He retired in 1981.

The Canada Volunteer Award was established by the Department of National Health and Welfare to recognize and encourage those Canadians who have made an outstanding voluntary contribution towards improving the health and well-being of their fellow citizens.

"When the Minister told me who was recieving the award, I couldn't have been more pleased," said Dr. Winegard at the presentation.

Army's volunteer endeavours are wide spread. He has driven for the Cancer Society and is a member of the "Friends of Schizophrenics" association. He has been involved with the Recovery Incorporated in London and has volunteered at the Ontario Reformatory, working with your alcoholic offenders.

"Army is a volunteer for all seasons - and deserving of recognition as a Canada Volunteer," says Mrs. Lewis
Memory by Gary   Apr 1, 2010
We were recently told that during WW2, that Army's nickname was "Irish"!




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