Julie Ann Hudson O’Connell (“Honey” to her grandchildren) died on November 9, 2021, after a brief illness. Born on April 14, 1935, Julie Ann was the first child and only daughter of James S. Hudson and Julie Harlan Hudson. She attended Bradfield Elementary, graduated from Highland Park High School in 1952, and also attended Stephens College. Julie Ann married Ray O’Connell on September 28, 1956, after accepting his proposal on their first date. They raised five daughters and were married for almost 49 years until his death in 2005.
A beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend, she is predeceased by her beloved brother, James S. Hudson, Jr.
Julie Ann loved Jesus, her country, her friends, Highland Park Presbyterian Church, the Highland Park Scots, the Broadmoor, the State Fair of Texas (which she attended every single year of her life), 4th of July, and fishing at Ferndale Club Lake, but her greatest joy and passion were her children: Kitty Henry, Julie Wallis (Mike), Meg Fraschilla (Fran), Sallie Weibel (Mark) and Mollie Walker (Chris); her grandchildren: Kate Henry, Hallie Henry Valley (Michael), Julie Ann Wallis, James and Matt Fraschilla, Caroline and Hudson Weibel, Patrick and Anna Walker; and her great-granddaughter, Harper Ray Valley.
A tireless volunteer in her community and church, she served as Armstrong School PTA President, HPPC Deacon, HPISD Alumni Association Board member, and University Park Citizens Council representative. She was recognized as a Pillar of the HPISD Community and received the Distinguished Alumni Association Award from HPISD for her years of service. Most of her volunteer roles were neither high-profile nor glamorous, however. She served thousands of lunches in HPISD school cafeterias, was Room Mother numerous times, led Bluebird/Camp Fire troops and children’s Bible studies, faithfully served lunches to senior adults in HPPC’s Friday Fellowship Ministry, and worked the Press Tent at the Byron Nelson Golf Tournament for 50 years, to name a few examples of her behind-the-scenes volunteer roles. Julie Ann had the gift of hospitality, constantly welcoming old friends and new acquaintances into her home. She co-founded the Greeter Ministry at HPPC to ensure that everyone received a warm, genuine welcome each week. She was readily recognizable in her many festive hats and headbands that she coordinated for every holiday.
Julie Ann was a wonderful mother to her own children and many “adopted” children, including the hundreds of students to whom she ministered through the HPPC College Ministry for over 30 years. She was a Sunday morning greeter to young children and their families for decades, providing a hug, a warm smile, and friendly directions, and she loved her job rocking babies in the church nursery.
For the last few years, Julie Ann lived with the challenges of Alzheimer’s disease but retained her sweet spirit and friendly persona, even when names no longer came as easily. A memorial service celebrated Julie Ann’s life at 10 am on Tuesday, November 16, 2021, at Highland Park United Methodist Church.
The family is particularly grateful for the gracious hospitality of HPUMC, which allowed them to celebrate their mom at this time. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Julie Ann’s name be made to Highland Park Education Foundation, https://www.hpef.org/memorial-gifting; Salesmanship Club of Dallas, https://scdallas.org; Highland Park Presbyterian Church, https://www.hppres.org; or the charity of your choice.