Ireland
Official Obituary of

David Bernard O'Connor

January 9, 1947 ~ February 17, 2024 (age 77) 77 Years Old

David O'Connor Obituary

 

David Bernard O’Connor, 77, of North Scituate Beach (formerly of Cambridge Mass., Rye N.Y., and Greenwich Conn.) died peacefully at his home early in the morning on Saturday, February 17, 2024, having spent his final weeks immersed in the loving embrace of family, friends, and neighbors, his faithful grand-dog Minot always nestled on his lap.

David was the proud and loving father of Brian Fallon O’Connor of Los Angeles and Scituate (TJ Hawthorne) and also leaves his dear friend and former wife Joan (Chiara) Kelley (Thomas Kelley) as well as an extended family of cousins, godchildren and, as he called them, “grand-cousins.” David was predeceased by his adoring parents John Francis and Clare Fallon O’Connor, his cherished maternal aunt and godmother, Eleanor Fallon, and doting paternal aunts, Eileen O’Connor, Mary Grannan, Josephine Kopp, and Margaret O’Connor. Through his marriage to Joan, he acquired lifelong in-laws whom he treasured as much as his own blood relatives -- survived by his much-loved aunt Angela Chiara of Avon, Conn.; predeceased by his aunt and uncle Elizabeth “Betty” and Rudolph “Rudy” Russo of Cambridge and uncle Matthew Chiara of Avon. He is survived by many Corcoran, Chiara, and Russo cousins and by his beloved honorary family in Ontario, Canada.

Having attended Rye Country Day School (N.Y.) and Brunswick School (Greenwich), David graduated high school from a Benedictine boarding school, Delbarton, in Morristown, N.J., before commencing college studies at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He was called home to Cambridge, as his father faced terminal cancer. Devastated by the early loss of his dear dad, he took a year off to live and work as a volunteer with VISTA in the South Bronx. He completed his bachelor’s degree at Boston State College, while volunteering as an EMT with the American Red Cross and working overnight shifts at the Boston Globe printing press. He served with the Red Cross during the July 1977 flood in Johnstown, Pa. and during the Blizzard of 1978 in Eastern Massachusetts. Later he earned a J.D. from New England School of Law in Boston and an M.P.A. from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He served as the long-time Director of Emergency Management for the City of Cambridge.

A man of varied interests, David always had a book in his hand, was a decades-long Friend of Harvard Hockey, attending both men’s and women’s home games religiously, and was an avid philatelist from his young childhood. David loved travelling around Europe, the Caribbean, and eastern Canada. The farthest he ventured was East Africa. The vibrancy of the people, landscape, and wildlife of Kenya and Tanzania made a lasting impression on him. His most frequently visited destination, not surprisingly, was Ireland. For many reasons his favorite Irish trip was the one Brian gave him to celebrate his 70th birthday in 2017 -- Brian and David spent two weeks visiting the west coast of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Dublin, staying at castles, manor houses, and other magnificent spots.

Proud of his Irish Heritage, David’s forbears hailed from Counties Kerry (O’Connor and Cronin), Roscommon (Fallon), and Cork (Corcoran). David had a passion to learn about all aspects of Irish music, history, literature, society, and even language -- choosing to kick off his retirement by delving into studies of the Irish language at Harvard Extension School. He supplemented his Extension School studies by spending multiple consecutive summers staying in a “Gaeltacht” region studying Irish at Oideas Gael in Glencolmcille, Donegal. Daíthí (David) was quite proud of his proficiency in the language of his ancestors.

David was a devout Roman Catholic throughout his life. During high school and college years he was a particularly avid reader of the writings of Thomas Merton. In retirement, David was active on the Pastoral Council of Christ by the Sea Catholic Collaborative, representing the parishes of St Anthony’s of Padua in Cohasset and St. Mary of the Assumption in Hull.

David loved Scituate his entire life and settled there as a year-round resident in 2004. From then, until it burned down, he could always be found having dinner as one of the “regulars” at Jamie’s Pub and Gannett Grille in North Scituate Center -- seated across from his good friend and companion, the late Marilyn Pitchford of Cohasset. After Jamie’s burned down, David and Marilyn expanded their horizons, continuing to dine together regularly at various local establishments, despite never finding an adequate replacement for Jamie’s.

Perhaps David’s greatest attribute was his huge loving heart. David loved “out loud.” When he loved you, he told you; and he shared your accomplishments, honors, exploits, and more with anyone and everyone. There was never any doubt whether you were loved by this special man.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to your local animal charity.

Funeral arrangements by McNamara-Sparrell at One Summer Street in Cohasset. Visiting hours will be held at the funeral home on Sunday, February 25 from 3pm to 6pm. A funeral mass will be held on Monday, February 26, at 10a.m. at St Anthony’s Church at Two Summer Street in Cohasset, with a short reception to follow. Burial will be at Cambridge Cemetery at 89 Coolidge Ave., Cambridge.

 

“Slán go fóill mo cara. Slán abhaile.” (Goodbye my friend. Safe home.)

“Féidir liom siad a choinneáil I gCuideacht na naomh.” (May his holy soul be on the right side of God.”

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Services

Visitation
Sunday
February 25, 2024

3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
McNamara - Sparrell Funeral Service
One Summer Street
Cohasset, MA 02025

Mass of Christian Burial
Monday
February 26, 2024

10:00 AM
St. Anthony
10 Summer St.
Cohasset, Massachusetts 02025

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