Sean O’Connell’s family recalls trooper’s qualities, strength

EVERETT — Humor. Compassion. Dedication.

That’s what Washington State Patrol trooper Sean O’Connell represented to his family and friends.

“If you knew these things about Sean, then you truly knew who he was,” said the trooper’s brother, Fran O’Connell.

O’Connell spoke briefly with reporters Wednesday night at Comcast Arena in Everett. It was the family’s first public statement since the trooper died in an on-duty collision Friday night in Skagit County.

An emergency room doctor in Washington, D.C., O’Connell wore a miniature State Patrol badge pinned to the lapel of his black suit. A black mourning band crossed the badge.

Thousands of people are expected to attend the trooper’s funeral Thursday.

The O’Connell brothers grew up together in New York. As the youngest kid in the family, Sean O’Connell had the reputation for being sweet and funny. As an adult, he showed those same qualities.

Sean O’Connell joined the U.S. Navy and ended up out west. He’d ridden motorcycles since he was a teen.

The trooper’s strength was that he could talk to anyone, his brother said. He used humor to defuse conflict. It was a skill he developed as a kid. He loved to make people laugh, to connect with them.

“As a family, we plan to honor Sean by trying to be more like him,” O’Connell said.

Sean O’Connell loved being a father more than anything. He was devoted to his children, and proud of them, Fran O’Connell said.

“It was Sean I looked to for finding strength and being a good Dad,” he said.

The trooper leaves behind a wife, a daughter and son. Both children are elementary school students.

The family is grateful for the overwhelming support from the community since the death, O’Connell said.

A future without Sean still is hard to comprehend, he said.

Rikki King: 425-339-3449; rking@heraldnet.com

More in Local News

Former Monroe cop loses appeal on sex crimes conviction

Once a highly respected officer, he was found guilty of secretly videotaping his kids’ babysitter.

Suspect sought in two Everett bank robberies

He’s described as 5-foot-10 to 6-foot-1, with dark hair and a goatee, and may have a neck tattoo.

Video shows man suspected of attacking a woman in Edmonds

The man allegedly threw her on the ground, then ran away after the she began kicking and screaming.

Two missing men found, one alive and one dead

The man found alive was found in an apartment across the hallway and taken to a hospital.

Darrington School Board dealing with upheavals

The crux of the controversy seems to be the superintendent’s job.

Alaska Airlines has selected destinations for new service from Paine Field. (Alaska Airlines)
Alaska Airlines will fly from Everett to 8 West Coast cities

Two destinations that didn’t make the list were Spokane and Hawaii.

Train kills man who was trying to get off tracks in Monroe

The conductor said he attempted to stop after sighting the man, who’d been lying on the rails.

Front Porch

EVENTS Construction to start on housing project A groundbreaking is scheduled for… Continue reading

FILE - This Tuesday, May 30, 2017 file photo, former Washington Gov. John Spellman, second from left, leaves a memorial service in Renton, Wash. Spellman, the last Republican governor elected in Washington, has died at age 91. Spellman’s son, Seattle attorney David Spellman, confirmed his death Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren,File)
John Spellman was last GOP governor of Washingon

He had spent recent weeks “being very disappointed with the Cougs and the Huskies,” his son said.

Most Read