John M. O'Connor

Obituary for John M. O'Connor

December 21, 1935 - January 9, 2021
Manchester, New Hampshire | Age 85

Obituary

John M. O'Connor, 85, a lifelong resident of Manchester, died January 9, 2021 at Bedford Hills Center, surrounded by his four children.

Born in Manchester on December 21, 1935, he was the son of Michael and Mary (Healy) O'Connor. He attended Our Lady of Perpetual Health Grammar School and then Manchester Central High, from which he graduated in 1953.

He was drafted by the U.S. Army in November 1954 and after attending basic training at Fort Dix (New Jersey) and Camp Chaffe (Arkansas), he served in Germany with the First Infantry ("The Big Red One"), 63 rd Tank Brigade, Charlie Company. It was during this time that he developed a life-long aversion to camping and a great appreciation for world travel and foods. The night before he shipped home from Germany in October 1956, he had the good fortune to be assigned to his barracks (with a radio) while his fellow soldiers were sent on maneuvers. When his fellow troops returned, he had a difficult time convincing them that he had just heard Don Larsen pitch a perfect game in the 1956 World Series.

After receiving his Honorable Discharge from the Army, he worked construction for several years. He was proud to be one of the workers that placed the cross atop St. George's Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Manchester. In 1965, he took a job at New England Telephone Company where he worked as a lineman for more than 30 years and loved going to work every day. He was a proud member and officer of IBEW Local 2320. He also proudly served on the Board of Directors at the Telephone Credit Union of New Hampshire for many years.

In 1959, he married the love of his life, Geraldine. Together, they lived the American Dream, raising four children and then traveling the world. They visited more than thirty-five states, and more than twenty countries on five different continents. John was an incredible gardener, known to many as the "Tomato King". He enjoyed good food, particularly his wife's cooking and baking. He passed on his love of seafood, especially lobster, to his children and made sure that he visited Brown's Lobster Pound at least once a year for more than 60 consecutive years.

John loved sports. He rarely missed his own children's games or meets no matter how far he had to travel. He saw almost every high school football game and Legion baseball game in Manchester for more than 40 years and he traveled to see more than 30 Notre Dame football games.

John was a prolific storyteller and he loved to pull practical jokes, especially on the guys he worked with. He hated every minute that he spent in school, yet he was one of the smartest people you could ever meet. Above all else, he was a devoted son, brother, nephew, father and grandfather who understood the importance of family.

John was predeceased by his beloved wife of 58 years, Geraldine (Swierz) O'Connor in 2018. She was the great love of his life and he missed her every day. He was also predeceased by two brothers, Francis and Brendan.

In the last few months of his life, John suffered from declining health. Although he was able to fight off various infections and COVID19, he finally succumbed to a broken heart, from which he suffered for almost three years.

John is survived by his four children, Michael O'Connor and his wife, Sandra Ryan, of LaGrange Park, IL, Kathleen Jaworski and her husband, Peter, of Manchester, Joseph O'Connor and his wife, Karen, of Windham and Maureen O'Connor and her husband, Lee LeBlanc, of Middletown CT; his granddaughters, Meghan, Kathryn, Jillian, Elizabeth and Emily; and his sister, Grail O'Connor of Manchester.

John's family gives thanks to the nurses and staff at Bedford Hills Center for the compassionate care they provided to him in his final days. They would also like to thank Ron Fredette for his many years of true friendship.

SERVICES: Due to COVID19, there are no calling hours. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday (1/14) at 11 a.m. at St. Pius X Church, 575 Candia Rd., Manchester. There is limited seating capacity at the church and all are asked to wear masks and observes social distancing guidelines. Urn burial will be in the NH State Veterans Cemetery, Boscawen, at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimer's Association at www.alz.org. Alzheimer's robbed John and Geraldine of their final years together and finding a treatment or cure is the best way to honor his memory.

Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory, Manchester is assisting the family with arrangements.

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Lambert Funeral Home & Crematory

1799 Elm St
Manchester, NH 03104
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