Russell J. O’Connor, Jr., of Norfolk, Connecticut, and Vero Beach, Florida, died January 6, 2020, at home, after a long and courageous battle with neuroendocrine cancer.
He was the husband of Margo (Schmitt) O’Connor, for forty-three years. Born in Winsted, Connecticut, on February 2, 1946, he was the son of the late Russell J. O’Connor, Sr., and Elaine (Nardi) O’Connor.
He is survived by his wife, Margo S. O’Connor, and sister, Karen M. O’Connor, of Vero Beach, Florida, along with many loving cousins and friends. He also leaves behind his feline friend, Cleo.
Russ was the President of the family business, O’Connor Bros, Sand and Gravel, of East Canaan, started by his uncles and father, and had worked with the company for 43 years, retiring in 2012.
After high school, and attending Central Connecticut State College, Russ went to work, full-time, at the family business, while serving in the Army Reserves for six years, playing the trombone in the Army band.
Russ’ hobbies included gardening, both vegetables and corn, (he had a ‘green thumb’) which he would donate to various local soup kitchens, as well as to family and friends, along with dancing, fishing and sailing.
Russ was past president of the Immaculate Conception Church Men’s Club, and served as a Eucharistic Minister for many years. He also was a past member of the Antique Car Club and was a lifetime member of the Torrington Elk's Lodge.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, January 13, 2020, at the Immaculate Conception Church (St. Martin of Tours Parish) 4 North St., Norfolk, Connecticut. Relatives and friends are asked to meet directly at the church. Burial will follow at St. Francis New Cemetery, South Main Street, Torrington, CT. Relatives and friends may call on Sunday, January 12, 2020, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Cook Funeral Home, 82 Litchfield St., Torrington, CT.
The family would like to extend their deepest gratitude to Dr. Debra S. Brandt, Dr. Elizabeth Whalen, the oncology nurses and staff at the Torrington Smilow Cancer Center, for their ongoing kind concern and wonderful care of Russ over the past 11 years.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02215 (please specify Neuroendocrine Tumor Research / NETs) or to the Torrington Smilow Cancer Center, 200 Kennedy Drive, Torrington, Connecticut 06790.
Condolences may be sent to Russ’ family by visiting www.cookfuneralhomect.com
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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute; Neuroendocrine Tumor Research
450 Brookline Street, Boston MA 02215
Torrington Smilow Cancer Center
200 Kennedy Drive, Torrington CT 06790