Richard “Dick” P. O’Connell, 74, of Idyllwild, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2005 at Loma Linda University Medical Center.

He was born March 14, 1930 in Wilmington, Mass.

Mr. O’Connell was a general contractor and a member of the Idyllwild Lions Club. He attended the First Church of Christ Scientist and was active in the Boy Scouts.

He raised his family in Idyllwild and spent the last 21 years as an interested community member.

Having spent chapters of his life in Massachusetts as a restaurant and canteen truck owner, and finally owning a general contracting business in Colton, he always found joy and education in lending a hand to help, an ear to listen or a voice to inspire.

He was adored by his wife and admired by his children for his love of storytelling, history, cooking, animals and keeping things simple.

He was truly self-made and self-contained, sure in his identity and always accepting of others.

Mr. O’Connell thought Idyllwild was the greatest place in the world. He will remain in his family and friends’ hearts for years to come.

A memorial service will be held in the spring.

He is survived by his wife, Kathryn O’Connell; two sons, Lucas O’Connell of Albuquerque, N.M. and Jonathan O’Connell of Riverside; two brothers, Donald O’Connell of Upland and John O’Connell of Tewksbury, Mass.; and one grandchild.