Elena Sandoval O’Connell

Deceased: Septmber 29, 2015

Service Information:

Visitation: Thursday, October 8, 2015 4pm until 9pm
Funeral Mass: Friday 10am at St. Alphonsus Church,
1429 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago
Interment: Private


Elena Sandoval O’Connell, 79, of Chicago, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Sept. 29, 2015. Elena was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She graduated high school from Loretto Academy in 1955. Upon High School graduation, Elena left the southwest for the Midwest as she attended Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. She entered the novitiate with the Sisters of Loretto during her junior year of college and remained in that community for over a decade. During that time she served as a teacher in: Taos, NM, and La Paz, Bolivia and was the director of Religious Education in Sterling, IL. Elena was committed to and deeply believed in the work she was doing as a nun and remained in her community until meeting her future husband. She married Bill O’Connell in August, 1970. She entered the Chicago Public School system as a teacher in 1970 and retired from CPS in 2000 as a Principal. Her life’s work was to educate as many under privileged children as humanly possible as her fundamental belief was that everyone was entitled to a quality education. She was an active leader in the CPS school reform movement and was awarded Principal of the year in 1997. In retirement, she was a dedicated board member of the Uhlich Children’s Advantage Network. Wife of the late William F. O’Connell (2012); loving mother of Marielena O’Connell Kenny and Mary Ann O’Connell; devoted grandmother of Isabella and Jack Kenny, Grace, Will and Mae DeGroff; dear sister of the late Cipriano Sandoval, the late Consuelo S. Chavez, Herman (Cecelia) Sandoval, Mary Ann Murphy and Terry (Jerry) Ortiz; close cousin of Ben and Joe Shirley, loving aunt of many nieces and nephews and caring friend to many. Visitation from 4 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8 at Lakeview Funeral Home, 1458 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. Funeral Mass at 10 a.m. on Friday Oct. 9 at St. Alphonsus Church, 1429 W. Wellington Ave., Chicago. Interment private. For information – Lakeview Funeral Home, 773-472-6300 or www.lakeviewfuneralhome.com. Memorial contributions in Elena’s name may be made to Uhlich Children’s Advantage Network, 3737 N. Mozart, Chicago, IL 60618, info@ucanchicago.org