Thomas J. O’Connor Jr.

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Thomas J. O’Connor Jr., 77, of Oak Island, Suffolk, died Monday, Jan. 27, 2003, in 1979.

Mr. O’Connor founded and became president of O’Connor & Company Inc.

He was born in Presque Isle, Maine, but he spent most of his early life in Wayland, N.Y. He was the son of the late Thomas J. and Ella T. O’Connor.

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Survivors include his wife, Alice H. O’Connor; daughter, Jane O. Smith; son, Thomas J. O’Connor III, all of Suffolk; sister, Teresa O. Salzler of Dublin, Ohio; grandchildren, Laura T. Smith, Sarah T. Smith, Sadie H. O’Connor, Thomas J. O’Connor IV; step-granddaughter, Annie E. Smith; and several nieces and nephews.

Mr. O’Connor was an active member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Suffolk.

He graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, N.Y., and served in the 86th infantry, Blackhawk Division during WW II. He served in both the European and Pacific theaters of action and received the Bronze Star and Purple Heart.

In addition, he served as chairman of the National Peanut Council, the National Peanut Brokers’ Association, and the Virginia-Carolina Peanut Association.

He formerly served as vice chairman of the Obici Hospital’s Board of Directors and on the Advisory Board of Directors of the First Virginia Bank.

He was a charter member and past president of the Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society, a past president of the Suffolk Lions Club, and served as chairman of the Board of Directors of Morgan Memorial Library.

Formerly, Mr. O’Connor served as chairman of the Suffolk-Nansemond Chamber of Commerce, as board member of the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Jolly Boys.

The funeral will be conducted at 2 p.m. Thursday in St. Mary’s Catholic Church by Father Joseph Slattery.

The family will receive friends in the church hall following the services. Burial will be private.

The family will receive friends from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the R.W. Baker & Co. Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Alzheimer’s Disease Research, 22512 Gateway Center Drive, P.O. Box 1950, Clarksburg, Md., 20871-1950.