John's Story

BRADLEY - BRADLEY - John Edward O'Connor, 80, died peacefully May 1, 2014, at his residence. He was born June 20, 1933, in Fort Fairfield, ME, a son of Edward and Gertrude Teresa (Bradley) O'Connor.

John graduated from Stearns High School, Millinocket, Class of 1950. Following high school he proudly served with the U.S. Navy during the Korean War. Upon discharge, he attended the University of Maine graduating in 1959, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education; 1963 with a Masters of Education degree; and 1973 with a Certificate of Advanced Studies. Mr. O'Connor's career in education spanned 34 years all in the Old Town School System, where he served in varied capacities: Helen Hunt Jr. High (1959-1963) teaching 7, 8 and 9 grade Math Social Studies and Science; Joseph A. Leonard Jr. High (1963-1974) grades 7, 8 and 9 guidance counselor; Lewis Stairs Elementary School (1974-1982) K-5 teacher and principal; Helen Hunt Elementary School (1982-1992) grades 4 and 5 teacher and principal; Helen Hunt Elementary and Jefferson Street Elementary Principal (1992-1993), retiring June 1993. He also taught driver's education (1959-1963), adult education classes (1963-1973) and served as interim principal at All Saints School, Bangor. He was a member of the Old Town Jaycees, Eastern Maine Beagle Club and the Sunrise County Beagle Club. He was a longtime parishioner of St. Ann's Catholic Church. During retirement, he enjoyed traveling including trips to Alaska, Missouri, Washington, Louisiana, the Maritime Provinces and New England; hunting, including a 1999 moose hunt; and fishing. A great pastime became "beagling," a sport where he would compete with his AKC beagles against dogs from all over the U.S. and Canada. In 1999 he finally reached his beagling goal when he finished "Carob" as an AKC Field Champion. He also enjoyed raising Brittanies and bird hunting, raising beagles and rabbit hunting and field trialing and the family camp at South Twin Lake, Millinocket. John was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend, who liked to tell stories and jokes, and keep an eye out on everyone.

He is survived by his four children, Michael John O'Connor of Bucksport, Kathy Vise and her husband, Alex, of Boothbay Harbor, Timothy Sean O'Connor and his wife, Teresa, of Bethel and Linda Smithson and her husband, William, of Old Town; six grandchildren, Nate Pete, Timothy John O'Connor, Kahla Vise, Zachary Vise, Lance Roy and Courtney Roy; great-grandson, Jaden Pete; two sisters, Ann Marston and her husband, Ervin, of Bangor and Susan O'Connor of Bangor; brother, David O'Connor and his wife, Nancy, of Island Falls; several nieces, nephews and special Canadian cousins. He was predeceased by his wife, Shirley O'Connor in 1991; and a special friend, Alice Piche.

Friends may call 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Tuesday at Birmingham Funeral Home, 438 Main St., Old Town. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Ann's Catholic Church, Bradley. Interment will be at Evergreen Cemetery, Bradley. Immediately following the graveside all are invited to return to St. Ann's for a light luncheon and continued fellowship. Memorial contributions may be made to the RSU 34 Children's Fund, 56 Oak Street, Old Town, ME 04468. Notes of condolences may be left at www.birminghamfuneralhome.com.
Bangor Daily News
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