Deceased August 11, 2017
Nicholas “Nick” Brown O’Connell Jr. passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Aug. 11 at age 88. He will be remembered as a loving husband, devoted father, terrific friend and a fair, judicious attorney and judge.
He enjoyed a long, productive and immensely interesting life. He was born Aug. 19, 1928, to Nicholas Brown O’Connell and Janet O’Connell in Brooklyn, N.Y. His father took him to Dodger games at Ebbets Field, igniting a lifelong love of the team.
Nick was graduated from Amherst in 1948 and said of the college, “Attending Amherst helped me hone an already inquiring mind and to broaden my intellectual curiosity. Professors Salmon and Packard instilled a passion for military history. My Amherst education opened up many vistas of interest and inquiry. It forever changed me and expanded my horizons.”
He went on to graduate from Columbia University Law School (L.L.B., J.D.) in 1953. On June 6, 1953, he married Marie Kearney of Boston. In 1955 Nick and Marie set out for the Pacific Northwest and settled in Seattle. Nick was a member of the New York State Bar Association and the Washington State Bar Association. He was recognized by the Washington State Bar for 55 years of distinguished service in the legal profession. He served as a U.S. government lawyer for the Federal Trade Commission. Washington State assistant attorney general, private practitioner, corporate counsel for the Boeing Company and judge pro tem for the King County Superior Court. He also served in the U.S. Naval Intelligence and the Central Intelligence Agency.
He will be remembered for his love of family, keen intellect, courage, integrity, honesty and lively, acerbic wit. He is survived by his wife, Marie; children Catherine, Nicholas III ’80, Anne and Richard, all of Seattle; and 11 grandchildren.
Nick O’Connell ’80