On Wednesday, April 20th Danny O'Connor told his family and medical staff that he was tired and ready to go home. And that he did…Danny died surrounded by his family in the quiet of an early spring morning at his much loved home in Worcester on Sunday, April 24, 2016. He was 80. He had all his faculties, his sense of humor, quick wit and a heart filled with love and memories of his lifetime right up until he breathed his last. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam. May his soul be at God's right hand.
On July 16, 1935 in Kanturk, County Cork, Ireland Daniel O'Connor was born one of five children to the late Daniel and Bridget (Toomey) O'Connor. Dan was raised and educated in Ireland and on June 24, 1958 he married Mary T. Murray in Saint Mare's Church in Rugby, England. In efforts to make a better way for themselves they immigrated to the United States in 1968 settling in Worcester. Danny remained forever mindful of his roots and was always willing to help and offer advice to help other immigrants from his native Ireland. Remembering the challenges he encountered he helped many as they navigated their way in a foreign but sought after land. He was passionate about children and those who were presented with life's challenges. He remained very active in fundraising for charities that helped children who were deaf and with disabilities.
Danny worked for the Worcester County Sherriff's Department for over 25 years where he earned the rank of lieutenant. He retired in 2002.
He loved the game and sport of politics but especially on the local level where he was an active and familiar face in many campaigns. Danny was never one to shy away from a lively political debate and he had his opinions of which he made known. He remained active in Sinn Fein which is Ireland's oldest political movement. He was a familiar face at the Vernon Hill Post, American Legion # 435. Dan proudly wore his New York Yankees hat wherever he might travel. His pride and joy, aside from his family was his yard at home on Quinapoxet Lane where he kept the grass as green as the Emerald Isle. With his green thumb he was content to putter around in the yard and make things perfectly perfect. He looked forward to road trips with friends where they would test their luck of the Irish at the casinos. Routinely Danny would play the deck of cards for a game of solitaire.
His family offers thanks to the nursing and respiratory staff of the Saint Vincent Hospital Pulmonary Critical Care Unit.
He is predeceased by his siblings, Edward, Cornelius 'Connie', Mary O'Connor and Elizabeth Higgins.
In addition to his wife of 57 years, Mary, he leaves his daughters, Breda Daou and her husband, Cesar of North Andover, Sheila M. Seed and her husband, Paul of Shrewsbury and Margaret Cossairt and her husband, David of Cape Coral, Florida; his grandchildren, Dr. Pierre Daou, Jean Paul Daou, Timothy, Patrick and Caitlin Seed; and many nieces.
Family and friends will gather to honor and remember Daniel's life at calling hours on Tuesday, April 26th from 5:00 to 8:00 pm at Heald & Chiampa Funeral Directors – The Sumner House, 5 Church Road, On the Common, Shrewsbury Center and again on Wednesday morning before leaving in procession to Saint John's Church, 44 Temple Street, Worcester where his Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Burial will follow in Worcester County Memorial Park, Paxton.
Memorials in his name may be made to the St. John's Church Food for the Poor Program, 44 Temple St., Worcester, MA 01604 or Special Olympics Massachusetts, 512 Forest Street, Marlborough, MA 01752.
Anyone who knew Danny…in parting he will forever be remembered for his well-known saying…'I'll see you in church'.
Thank you for your support during this difficult time.
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