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Susan Lee O’Connell

BORN: November 3, 1950
DIED: April 9, 2018
LOCATION: South Charleston, West Virginia

Susan Lee O’Connell

On Monday April 9th, after a gallant fight, Susan Lee O’Connell departed from this earth. She is survived by her loving husband of 45 years, Brian ’Connell; daughter, Emily (Brett) Baker; sister, Merrily (Ed) Bailey; two grandchildren, Nathaniel and Cameron Baker; nieces, Taylor Bailey and Ashley (Tommy) Marion; and numerous other friends and family.

She worked for the State of West Virginia and was the executive director of the Division of Public Transit for over 25 years.  Under Susan’s leadership the Division of Transportation achieved national recognition and expanded public bus transportation to all 55 counties in West Virginia. Susan was able to oversee the design and construction of numerous new bus depots and garages throughout the State of West Virginia. She supervised the purchase of specialized vans that were distributed to regional agencies for use by the elderly. She received state and national recognition for her efforts and continued to work as a consultant for several major transportation systems after her retirement. As her colleagues said “You will not find a person that was more respected and liked.  She shattered the glass ceilings way before it become popular to talk about doing so. She quietly plowed her way through rules and regulations to make the public transportation in the state what it is today.”  She worked with multiple administrations to ensure public transportation was among the best in the country. She received the State Leadership Award in 2011 from the Community Transportation Association of American and the WV Public Transportation of the Year in 2014

Susan was a devoted member of Rock Lake Presbyterian Church in South Charleston and frequently sang in the church choir. She was a member of the South Charleston Junior Women’s Club and was an advocate for literacy programs throughout the state. She was a graduate of St. Albans High School and Concord University. 

Susan will be sorely missed by her family and her wide circle of friends. Visitation will 

occur Friday, April 13th at Snodgrass Funeral Home, South Charleston, from 5pm to 8pm. 

A celebration of life will be held Saturday, April 14th at Rock Lake Presbyterian Church, South Charleston, at 11 am with Rev. Richard McGuire presiding. 

In Lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in her honor to the West Virginia Public Transit Association for the development of educational programs which will continue to honor her life’s work of public servitude. Donations may be sent to PO Box 403 Anmore, WV 26323.

Memories of Susan may be shared by visiting snodgrassfuneral.com and selecting the obituary listing. Snodgrass Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

8 replies
  1. Brenda Wilmoth says:

    Susan was a mentor and friend. I worked with her for years as the Director of the Barbour County Senior Center through the 16(b)(2) Program, which provided vans for transportation for the elderly and persons with disabilities. In 2000, with Susan’s help, the Senior Center began Here & There Transit, which provided the only form of public transportation to the residents of Barbour County. I have so much respect for Susan. She worked tirelessly to provide public transportation throughout the state. She was a wonderful woman!

  2. Scott Bogren says:

    Susan taught me so much about the impact one committed individual can have on public transit service across an entire state. It would be impossible to measure just how profound an impact she had. How many people will get to visit with family, with their doctor, go to work, attend school or go to church this week, across West Virginia, as a result of Susan’s work and vision? Way too many to count. I feel fortunate to have been able to call her a friend and will miss her.

  3. Sandra Williamson says:

    Brian, Emily, Merrily, family and extended family and friends: I was so sorry to hear of Susan’s death. I worked for her and with her for 23 years. She will be remembered for all she did to nourish public transit. May God grant all of you peace, comfort, and Blessings. Sandy Williamson and Jerry

  4. Bonnie Sanner says:

    Emily, we are so very sad to learn of you Mother’s passing. I remember the many hours we shared watching you, Jill and your friends swimming at Glendale, numerous birthday parties and outings. Susan was a wonder lady and loved you dearly.

  5. Sheri White-Hardy says:

    Mr. O’Connell, it was a pleasure meeting such a wonderful lady a few weeks back. It was great seeing you again after 23 years. I’m saddened to see your sweet wife passed. Prayers for you and your family.

    Sheri White-Hardy

  6. Rebecca Poe says:

    Brian and Emily, I was a Senior Center director in Elkins until my retirement in 2012. In 2005 I appealed to Sudan to expand transportation to non seniors by becoming a public transit company. It took a lot of planning, but in the summer of 2006 Cpuntry Roads Transit in Randolph and Upshur Counties was launched.
    Susan was so very helpful and cooperative as we began our new project. She was always there for us!
    I am so very sorry that she left you so soon, but her legacy lives on. I will never forget her.
    Rebecca Poe

  7. Rosemary Peterson says:

    Brian, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. You and your daughter are in my prayers.Susan was a wonderful lady and you two were a fun couple! Cherish your memories. Prayers.

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Visitation

  • Friday, April 13
    5:00 PM to 8:00 PM
  • Snodgrass Funeral Home
  • 4122 MacCorkle Avenue SW
    South Charleston, WV 25309-1512
  • (304) 768-7324
  • Directions

Funeral Service

  • Saturday, April 14
    11:00 AM
  • Rock Lake Presbyterian Church
  • 905 E Village Drive
    South Charleston, WV 25309
  • Directions