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Joseph Patrick Oconnor ’49

Published in Jan. 22, 1992, issue

WHEN JOE O'CONNOR died Aug. 23, 1991, following emergency bypass surgery, the Class lost one of its most buoyant spirits. How he remained that way, through a life studded with tragedy, is a tribute to his strength, resiliency, and faith.

Joe was born Sept. 28, 1927, in N.Y.C. and grew up in Englewood, NJ., where he attended Xavier H.S. and Englewood School for Boys. At Princeton he majored in mechanical engineering, was a member of Elm Club, and contributed to the Princeton TIGER. Joe served in the Coast Guard during the Korean War, based primarily in San Francisco, where he met and married Ann Dallas Ramsay in 1952. They had six children, and Joe worked as V.P. and sales manager of Kieley & Muller, Inc., a family owned industrial valve and piping sales organization in Middletown, N.Y.

In the 70s Joe moved his family to the West Coast and headed to Alto Verde Controls, and later Tiolmarsh & O'Connor in Oakland, Calif., representing manufacturers of control components. After Ann's death he married Doris Earnshaw, in 1983, but was in the process of divorce at the time of his death.

Joe served as reunion chairman at our 20th. Ever a delight to be with, he created an alter ego"Jose Ocana," a Mexican free spirit and founder of "The Church of Holistic Hedonism"who at times answered Joe's phone, designed his Christmas cards, produced a flow of cartoons, and took the blame for the little things that went amiss in Joe's everyday life.

Joe's eldest son has been an invalid for years, and his middle son, Kevin, died suddenly of an aneurysm last year, He is survived by sons Joe III and Sean, daughters Elizabeth Huben, Mary, and Maureen, and four grandchildren. Our hearts go out to them all in their loss, and ours.

The Class of 1949

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