John O'Connor, SFO

John E. O'Connor, SFO

July 24, 1937 - June 28, 2020
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John Edward O’Connor, 82, of Pittsfield and formerly of Waccabuc, NY, died peacefully on June 28 at Berkshire Medical Center, surrounded by the love of his family.

John was born on July 24, 1937, in Brooklyn, NY, to John O'Connor of NY and Mary Garvey O'Connor originally of County Mayo, Ireland.

After serving in the U.S. Army, John married and started a family of three cherished daughters. While working full time, he pursued a college degree at night at St. Francis College in Brooklyn, graduating cum laude in 1967. He later graduated from the Graduate School of Credit and Financial Management at Dartmouth College.

During his 40-plus year career in banking at US money-center and major international banks, John applied his credit and structuring skills in leading teams specializing in complex transactions in leveraged finance, private equity, corporate restructuring, and bankruptcy financing. He derived the most satisfaction, however, from helping others to achieve their full potential.

While working at Bankers Trust Company in NY, he met his second wife, Mary Ellen Jacobs. They were married on February 22, 1975 and were blessed with more than 45 years of friendship and love.

John's Roman Catholic faith was extremely important to him. Over the years he generously supported the activities of each parish of which he was a part, serving in roles including Religious Education teacher and president and member of Parish and Finance Councils. His favorite role may have been as a greeter, welcoming friends old and new to St. Mark's in Pittsfield. After surviving open heart surgery in 2005, John pursued his life-long devotion to St. Francis of Assisi by studying for and being received into the Secular Franciscan Order.

Always very proud of his Irish heritage, John was even more proud of being an American. He was a student of American history and a strong believer in the American capitalist system. He enjoyed having the time in retirement to follow and invest in the stock market. He was a steadfast supporter of the New York Yankees and the New York football Giants, more than ever since moving to Massachusetts.

From his father, John learned the value of discipline and hard work. But, even better, from his mother he acquired the gifts of friendliness and good humor. He genuinely enjoyed people and sought to make them happy, always ready with a joke or funny story but also, when needed, with caring and compassion.

One of his happiest days came in 2011 when he and Mary Ellen brought home a Westie puppy whom they named Bonnie. Her devotion and unconditional love brightened his life for nine years, but especially as his health failed recently. Perhaps you were lucky enough to see them walking along Tor Court, with John waving hello to every passing car or pedestrian.

In addition to Mary Ellen and Bonnie, John is survived by two of his daughters: Denise Forkey and her husband Kevin and Corrine Armstrong and her husband Wayne (Army). And by Denise and Kevin's children: Shaun, Morgan and her daughters Georgia and Teagan, and James and his wife Brittni and their daughters Kaiya and Raelynn. And by Corrine's sons Blake and Andrew. By his sisters-in-law Kathy and her husband Randy Fullhart and Rhonda and her husband Jay Fitzwater and his brother-in-law Rich Jacobs. Also by his many wonderful nieces and nephews, including Steve Fullhart, Richey Jacobs, Abby Fitzwater, Grant Fitzwater, Maggie Cahill and her wife Janet Haire, Richard and Kathy Reilly, Robert and Cathy Reilly and their children, Brian and Wendy Reilly and their children, Gavin and Stella Reilly, Kathy Brady Schulte and her husband Tom and their children, and his nephew Michael's widow Anita Brady. And, finally, by his dear cousin Maureen Montambo.

John was predeceased by his parents and by his middle daughter Stephanie. And by his sisters Madeline and her husband Pat Brady, Josephine and her husband Tom Reilly, and Helen and her husband Ed Cahill. By his in-laws Ruth and Richard Jacobs, his sister-in-law Sharlie Jacobs, his nephews Kevin and Michael Brady, and his niece Cindy Jacobs.

John's family thanks all those who have cared for him in his illness, including the entire staff of the CCU at BMC, especially Dr. Alsmaan; the Berkshire VNA, especially Celeste, Cindy, Amy, and Kathy; and Mountain View Home Care, especially Bonnie, Kelly, and Priscilla. You all were great! We are also sincerely grateful to Dr. Neal Ginsberg for his steadfast commitment over the past 13 months to helping John recover at least some of the eyesight he lost last year.

FUNERAL NOTICE: Funeral services for John E. O'Connor will be held Thursday, July 2 with a Liturgy of Christian Burial at 11:00AM at St. Mark's Church, celebrated by Fr. Christopher Fedoryshyn, Pastor, and concelebrated by Fr. John Salatino, former Pastor. Entombment will follow at the Mausoleum at St. Joseph's Cemetery. There are no calling hours but friends are welcome to join the family at the church and the cemetery. Please remember that masks are required as is the practice of social distancing. We appreciate your patience and cooperation.

To honor John in the manner he truly deserves, the family will host a Memorial Mass and a celebration of his life at a later date when circumstances allow.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201, in care of Thomas F. Flood; please mention O’Connor Family Scholarship in the memo line. Or to Soldier On or St. Mark's Weekend Meals Program, each in care of DERY FUNERAL HOME, 54 Bradford Street, Pittsfield.
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Service Details

  • Service

    July 2, 2020 | 11:00am
    July 2, 2020 11:00am
    St. Mark Church
    West Street
    PITTSFIELD, MA 01201
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Rev. Christopher Fedoryshyn


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Lisa DeCarlo

Posted at 06:01pm
It is with heavy hearts we extend our deepest sympathy to the O'Connor Family; especially his dear wife Mary Ellen. John was truly one of our favorite pet parents. No matter how busy or challenging our day when John and Mary Ellen came in he would always make us smile. His generous compliments and sparkling eyes melted our hearts. He will be dearly missed. Rest in Peace.
Dr & Mrs Steven and Lisa Immerblum, Dr Betty Nussbaum, and the Entire staff of Goldens Bridge Veterinary Care Center

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