Robert “Bob” Andrew O’Connor of Pawcatuck, CT rode off peacefully into the sunset for the last time surrounded by the love of his family on July 19, 2019 at the age of 85 after a brief but courageous battle with cancer.
Born at home on Briar Hill Road in Groton, CT, he was the son of the late Andrew Kingston O’Connor and Beatrice Helen O’Connor and was pre-deceased by his paternal half-sister, Frances (O’Connor) Radzinski, of Huntsville, AL.
Bob is survived by his wife of almost 52 years, Constance M. (Brodeur) O’Connor of Pawcatuck, CT and his four daughters, Amy Van Pelt of Rosendale, NY along with her husband Scott and their children, Angela, Olivia, and Sophia; Sharon Greenwood of Warwick, RI along with her husband William; Laura Mathewson of Pawcatuck, CT along with her husband Travis and their children, Teegan and Cailee; and Mary Frances Gorgas of Monroe, CT along with her husband Paul and their children, Nicholas and Allison.
Bob grew up on a Connecticut farm and spent much of his early life in the surrounding areas of Gungywamp. He attended Pleasant Valley School, Fitch Senior High School where he played drums in the school band, and graduated from Norwich Free Academy in 1951. Bob participated in the Future Farmers’ of America program and was an undefeated amateur boxer with the Golden Gloves association.
He worked in multiple areas of production and research at Pfizer from 1952 until his retirement in 1990. During his time at Pfizer he enlisted in the U.S. Army from 1955-1956 before receiving an honorable discharge.
Bob loved quarter horses and was a lifelong member of the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA). In 1968 he graduated from Oklahoma Farrier’s College as an accomplished farrier and in 1972 settled in Pawcatuck to raise his family and established “Stonington Stables” where he single-handedly built his multi-stall barn and exhibited his craftmanship.
Bob had a quick wit and wonderful sense of humor and enjoyed family gatherings, playing cards, sharing stories, watching UCONN women’s basketball, bull riding and horse racing, and telling a convincing joke distinguishable only by the twinkle in his blue eyes. An avid outdoorsman his entire life, Bob cherished sharing his extensive knowledge of wildlife, nature, and gardening with his children and grandchildren. He will be greatly missed by his family, extended family, and the many friends he made over the years both locally and during his travels to Oklahoma and Alabama.
Visiting hours will be held on Tuesday from 4-7pm at Gaffney Dolan Funeral Home, 59 Spruce Street, Westerly, RI. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Thomas More Church, 87 Mystic Road, North Stonington, CT on Wednesday at 11a.m. There is no procession from the funeral home to church. Burial will follow at St. Joseph’s Cemetery, 959 Nooseneck Hill Road, West Greenwich, RI. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in his name to Stand Up for Animals, 33 Larry Hirsch Lane, Westerly RI, a cause Bob highly supported. For online condolences please visit www.gaffneydolanfuneralhome.com