William O’Connell, a beloved history professor at Nassau Community College, died peacefully in the early hours of Sunday, December 2, 2018, at the age of 77. A native of Flushing, Queens, New York, Professor O’Connell spent his entire career as an educator, beginning as a social studies teacher in junior high schools in Queens in the 1960s. He became a professor of history almost 20 years ago in both the State University of New York and the City University of New York systems. His greatest love was in helping his students understand history, making the long past come alive for them through vivid stories. Professor O'Connell taught Western Civilization, European History and American History. 20th Century European History was an area of special interest. His family, his colleagues and his students mourn his loss. Professor O'Connell earned bachelor's and master's degrees in history at St John's University and did extensive graduate work in history at New York University. He leaves behind his grieving brothers John (Maurine) and James (Mary Lee) O’Connell, his nephew James, and his niece Kathleen. His mother Mary and father William, both from Ireland, predeceased him. Professor O’Connell will be waked at the Thomas Dalton Funeral Home, 29 Atlantic Ave, in Floral Park, on Tuesday, Dec. 4, from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The funeral will be held at St. Hedwig’s Church, 1 Depan Ave., on Wednesday, at 10 a.m.