Grandpa Larry


Larry and daughter Theresa
Larry and daughter Theresa



Born Ambrose Lawrence (Larry) O’Connell on 17 Dec 1905 in Berlin, NH to Dennis O’Connell of Grangerville, NY and Rose May Springer of Maine. Ambrose was raised in the Hudson Falls area of NY. In his 20’s, he rode the rails with brother Linus (Joe) to Illinois (according to family story), where both brothers settled, for the most part. Soon after their Mother Rose and sister Theresa followed. Both brothers started life using their first names, but somewhere in the 1930-1940’s both boys started using their middle names.  Larry died 28 Feb 1975, Chicago, IL.

Larry was married 3 times. His first marriage was to Rose, they had a son Dennis,  and a daughter June Rose.

His second marriage was to  Janet, they had a son Bobby.

His third marriage was to Ida Jaeger, they had daughter Theresa, and sons Lawrence and David.

Larry is my paternal Grandfather, through his third marriage to Ida. Last week I wrote about my memories of Ida, you can read more about her here.

I was very young when my Grandpa passed, but I wanted to share the memories I do have. When I gave birth to my first child, my father and I were sitting in the hospital talking about my Grandparents. When we discussed them, he could not believe the things I remembered because they passed when I was young.

Grandpa Larry treated his grandchildren well. You could say that we were spoiled by him to a point. The family did not have much money, but we had love. I remember Grandpa  would walk home from work, he would always have candy in his pockets for the grandkids. If it was something I did not like, he would bring me home some Swiss Miss Chocolate Pudding. He wanted all of us to be happy.

Grandpa had his hobby of building ships. I remember we were allowed to look, but that was it. I recall sitting there watching him work with these small parts and how fascinated we were with them. Unfortunately, I do not have one of the beautiful ships he built. I do however have the next best thing, I have some pictures of them. Make sure to come back on Treasure Chest Thursday to see them.

Once, when we were in his room watching him build, he taught us how to siphon water from one glass to another. Strange memory, I know!

He loved the first snow. It was peaceful and beautiful. I remember him waking me in the middle of the night so that we could watch that first snow come down. How it looked so beautiful on the trees. It was pure, unspoiled beauty! To this day, this is my favorite time to watch the snow. This past year, I went outside with my camera in hand to enjoy the beauty of mother nature.

I remember sitting on his lap, watching Frosty the snowman. How I cried at the end when Frosty melted, to his calm reply “he will be back again next year.” Yes, I realize that is how the show ended, I was four and found the comfort from my Grandpa instead of the cartoon.

He taught us to dunk our toast in coffee, and did not mind when we did it to his coffee!

The last of my memories happen sitting on his lap and how he would sing to us The Animals Fair. He also would pretend to eat a wad of paper, we would watch it go into his mouth. Do not ask me what happened to the paper, I have no clue. I was so young when he died.



Similar Posts


  1. Hi

    Janet Binnie Hannah Barr who married Ambrose Lawrwnce O’Connell was a 3rd cousin of my grandfather. I would be very interested to know if you had any more information about Janet and Bobby.

    Best regards,


    1. Alasdair,

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. You are the first person to reach out to me about Janet and Bobby. I wish I could tell you what happened to them. I believe that Janet married again (but do not have the proof at this moment). As for Bobby, I have not found any records on him after the 1940 US Census. According to my aunt, who would be Bobby’s half sibling, she believes that he died early because of alcoholism. I have found nothing to prove this, I do not know if he moved away from the Chicago area or not. I do know that as he got older and Larry was remarried, Larry’s other children did not have much contact with him. My aunt said she remembers seeing him maybe once or twice in her lifetime.

      If your family has any other information, I would love to hear it.

      I will also email you personally on some other things I have found.

      Thanks so much for commenting.


  2. Hi

    Thanks for replying. Unfortunately the only information I have is on the Barr side of the family, and it probably wouldn’t be of much interest to you. I would be interested to see anything you could share though.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.