Obituary for Jerome Anthony O'Connor
Jerome Anthony O’Connor
With great sadness, we announce the death of Jerry O'Connor, just shy of his 100th birthday. He died, August 22, 2017 in Toronto. Jerry was a man very much of the 20th century; he was the youngest of eight children born in England to an Irish immigrant family near the end of the First World War. Dad suffered many significant hardships and losses beginning in his early life. These included the untimely death of his father which led to the loss of the family businesses and the ensuing "diaspora" of him and his siblings. Fortunately, Dad was able to reconnect with many of his brothers and sisters, in later life. Dad served his country as a member of the British Expeditionary Force in the Second World War. He was captured in the spring of 1940 near Dunkirk, France and, with stoicism and determination he survived the following five years as a German POW. After the war, Dad met and married our beloved mother, Pauline, and subsequently emigrated to Canada to make a new life for their family in a country they both came to love dearly. Although there was a brief sojourn to live in Jamaica, they settled in Hamilton, where they put down deep roots. He contributed to the Baby Boom by fathering 6 children: Christopher, Paul, Timothy, Deirdre, Katharine, Isabelle. Mum and Dad enjoyed a loving and adventurous sixty-three years of married life together. Dad built a successful 30 year career with Westinghouse, Canada followed by a fulfilling second career in the Financial Services industry, finally retiring at the young age of 80! Dad was an intrepid traveller his whole life. He spoke 6 languages fluently including German, which he learned from his POW guards. His knowledge of geography, language, culture and history was formidable. His keen sense of wit charmed many. Like so many of his generation, he personified the values of perseverance, sacrifice, self discipline and hard work. His faith sustained him through all of his life and brought him comfort at the end. Dad/ Grandpa Jerry will be missed by his children, sons and daughters in law, 11 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren, for whom he was an inspiration. We will miss sharing a weekly drink with you. The family would like to express our deep appreciation to the 4th floor staff at the Westbury for their exemplary care and compassion these past years. Visitation will be held at P.X. DERMODY FUNERAL HOME, 7 East Ave. S (between King and Main) on Sunday August 27, 2017 from 6-9 p.m. Vigil prayers will be held at 8 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Joseph Catholic Church(260 Herkimer St.) on Monday August 28, 2017 at 11 a.m. Interment to follow at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Doctors Without Borders, or the charity of your choice.