Francis “Frank” A. O’Connell died June 29 in Grass Valley. He was 94.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. today (Tuesday, July 1) at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.
Frank was born on the upper east side of Manhattan and raised in the Bronx. He remained a New Yorker at heart despite spending his final 35 years in Northern California. He graduated from St. Nicholas of Tolentine in the Bronx and Fordham Law before World War II, and practiced labor law at Cravath, Swain and Moore. He enlisted during World War II and served in Australia as a cryptographer. After the war Frank returned to Cravath, and then worked as a labor relations attorney in private industry. He went back in the Army for the Korean War as a captain in Anna Rosenberg’s labor office in the Department of Defense. He then returned to corporate labor law, retiring from Olin in 1977 as Vice President of Industrial Relations.
Frank was widely recognized as a proponent of employer prerogatives in labor relations, building on the thinking of Boulware and other corporate employee relations leaders before him. Before retiring, he worked with John M. Olin to transform the Olin Foundation into a powerful and well-endowed underwriter of ideas. He ran the Foundation before again retiring in 1982. He was an ardent free market conservative who served on the board of “National Review” with his friend, William F. Buckley.
Frank’s first wife, Alice (Costuma), daughter of a New York City Deputy Police Chief, died a few years after their marriage. He was then married to Mary (Reinhart) of California. His third wife, Marjorie (Furry), with whom he had a daughter, Anne, is deceased. His fourth wife, Kathryn (Beitsch Grant) also passed away. He has been a loving parent to her sons Arthur Grant, William Grant and Anthony Grant for 44 years. He married Eleanor (Tremoreux) in 1971, and she survives him.
He is also survived by Anne, Arthur, William, and Anthony, and their families.
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