Thomas O'Connor Obituary

Thomas Martin O'Connor
Thomas Martin O'Connor

April 8, 1929 - December 5, 2020
Born in Mansfield, Ohio
Resided in Eagle River, Alaska


Thomas Martin O'Connor, born on April 8, 1929, in Mansfield, Ohio, walked into heaven on Dec. 5, 2020, unencumbered by physical ailments. He was the son of Martin O'Connor and Louise Hoffman. He was proud to be the son of an Irish immigrant and a dual citizen. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Johnny O'Connor and James O'Connor; and sister, Mary Lou Hale. He is survived by his wife, Joanna O'Connor (Ward); daughters, Theresa "Teri" Westphal (O'Connor) and husband Chris and SueEllen O'Connor-Ferris and husband Kevin; and granddaughter, Christina "Nina" Connor Westphal. He is also survived by his sister, Peggy Decapio, and many other family members.

Tom adored his wife Joanna for their 57 years together. Every spring he picked wild flowers for her, and they were never seen walking down the street without having hands clasped together. They loved to dance. Tom loved to dream and live a life of adventure with Joanna and their two daughters Teri and SueEllen. One of their most memorable adventures was when they moved to the jungles of Belize when the girls were in their early teens. Another was living aboard and restoring an old houseboat in the early 80s. We traveled all over the U.S. His love of the journey shaped how we would view travel and the love of adventure the rest of our lives.

Tom worked most of his life as a glazier, although he was very talented and also worked in many other occupations, such as real estate, building, sales and carpentry. He enjoyed working, and last worked at Walmart up until he was almost 88. Tom was an artist, but also enjoyed architectural drawing. He was well read, and especially enjoyed learning about countries and cultures around the world. He was a seeker and sojourner in life, even though he did end up in Alaska far longer than expected. He never met a stranger. He found such joy in connecting with others, making people laugh, brightening up the day of someone who was down and changing a person's perspective from hopeless to hopeful. This was his final mission in life.

A small private service will be held. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that all who wish to contribute to funeral costs may do so by sending donations to the Mat Valley Federal Credit Union in Eagle River, acct # 44924-99.

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