Former NCA President & CEO Dick O’Connell Passes

Isle of Palms, SC — Richard “Dick” Thomas O’Connell, past president and CEO of the NCA, as well as a past president and CEO of the Chocolate Manufacturers Association and the American Cocoa Research Institute, died Monday at the age of 92.

Past NCA President & CEO Dick O’Connell

O’Connell spent 40 years as a food trade association executive, including 20 years at the Chocolate Manufacturers Association and the American Cocoa Research Institute (1972 to 1992), while simultaneously serving 10 years at the National Confectioners Association (1982 to 1992). 

In addition, he held posts with two poultry trade associations and was the corporate secretary of the National Council of Farmer Cooperatives in Washington, D.C.

He was preceded in death in 2005 by his wife of 45 years, Therese Anne Clark O’Connell, an infant daughter, Jennifer Marie O’Connell, and three brothers.  He is survived by daughters Carol O’Connell and Susan O’Connell Diemer and son Daniel, as well as three granddaughters and a great-grandson.

Born on March 25, 1928 in Lost Nation, Iowa, he graduated from Iowa State University in 1949 with a B.S. in Poultry Science. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War and received a Bronze Star and Combat Infantryman’s Badge for his service.

Visitation will be held Wednesday, August 5, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm ET, with a recitation of the Rosary at 6:30pm, at Adams-Green Funeral Home, 721 Elden Street, Herndon, VA 20170. 

A funeral Mass will be held on Thursday, August 6, at 11:00am ET at St. John Neumann Catholic Church, 11900 Lawyers Road, Reston, VA 20191.