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Mary Catharine O'Connell
Viewing: October 24, 2018 (Wednesday) from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon at church
Service: October 24, 2018 (Wednesday) at 12:00 noon
Location: Church of the Little Flower

Mary Catharine O’Connell

Of Bethesda, Maryland, age 91, died on October 10, 2018. She is survived by her devoted husband of 58 years, Peter D. O’Connell; daughters Susan O’Connell of Bethesda, Maryland; Catharine O’Connell (Matthew Schultz) of Jacksonville, Illinois; and Anne O’Connell Fraser (William) of Montpelier, Vermont. She is also survived by her six grandchildren, Olivia, Patrick, Claire, and Angus Fraser, and Victor and Ruth Schultz; sister-in-law Sally O’Connell; many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews; and a brother, Robert Ostmann (Jean), also of Bethesda. A brother, Francis A. Ostmann, Jr. predeceased her.  

Mary Catharine Ostmann was born on Jan. 15, 1927 in Washington, DC. She graduated from the Academy of the Holy Cross and Dunbarton College. She later served as a member of the Dunbarton College board of trustees. From 1948 to 1958 she was employed by television station WRC-TV in Washington. She entered Georgetown University Law Center as a part-time student in 1956, later moving to full time. She was selected as an editor of the Georgetown Law Journal and graduated 2nd in her law school class in 1959.  She was an associate in the law firm of Berge, Fox and Arent (now Arent Fox) until the birth of her first daughter.

For 25 years, continuing well into her 80s, Mary Catharine served as a docent at the National Gallery of Art, leading tours of the Gallery’s art and sculpture collections for thousands of NGA visitors.  She also participated in special NGA programs to foster art appreciation in DC public schools and to provide art access to residents of local retirement and nursing homes.

In addition to receiving her J.D. from Georgetown University, Mary Catharine returned to earn an M.A. in Liberal Studies in 1986. Her thesis analyzed historic paintings portraying the subject of war. 
 She was also an active and dedicated member of her Catholic parish; she particularly enjoyed singing in the choir, serving as lector at Mass, and welcoming parishioners as a greeter for Sunday services.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the Church of the Little Flower, 5607 Massachusetts Avenue, Bethesda, MD, on Wednesday, October 24, at 12:00 Noon.  Interment will be private.  
 Visitation with the family will be held in the church, prior to the funeral, starting at 11:00 a.m.  

 

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