Donald Richard O’Connor (Dido)

JUPITER, FL – Donald Richard O’Connor (Dido), age 88, passed away peacefully on January 4, 2023 in Jupiter FL, surrounded by family and friends. Dido was born to Ulysses and Irene (Gosselin) O’Connor on January 21, 1934. He was a graduate of St. Mary’s H.S. class of 1952. Dido proudly served in the United States Navy from 1952 – 1954 and was stationed on the U.S.S Timbalier in Panama and the U.S.S. Coral Sea in Norfolk VA. Dido received an undergraduate degree in Education from Fitchburg State, a master’s degree in education from Westfield State, his Advanced Graduate Study from UCONN, and lectured at the University of Hartford and Central Connecticut State University. Dido taught in the Granby, Westfield, and Hartford public school systems and spent most of his professional career as a Special Education Job Placement Coordinator for the Board of Education in Hartford, CT.

Dido was a proud member of the Sons of Erin, St. Mary’s Men’s Club, American Legion Post 124 (past commander), Moose Lodge of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, and the Disabled Veterans of America (Lifetime Member). He was the first Director of Camp Togowauk, the first Director of Observation for Headstart, and the Coordinator for Special Olympics in Hartford. Dido was one of the founders of the Colleen Contest at the Sons of Erin in Westfield and was a little league baseball coach for Stevens Paper Mill and the 104th Tactical Fighter Squadron.

Dido was also an active member of St. Peter’s Church in Westfield, St. Claire’s Parish in North Palm Beach, FL., and the Westfield YMCA. Dido was an avid fan of Notre Dame football, the New England Patriots, and Boston Red Sox. He also enjoyed playing golf and would especially look forward to participating in the O’Connor Open and St. Mary’s golf tournaments each year. He enjoyed the Sunday night concert series at Stanley Park, events at the Sons of Erin, and delighted in attending all family functions throughout the year. Dido also spent much time reading, solving crossword puzzles, and spending time with family on Moody Beach in Wells, Maine. He was a generous, kind and loving man, who had a boundless compassion for his family and friends. He had made each relationship with family and friends feel uniquely special. If you were a friend of Dido O’Connor, you had a friend for life.

Dido was predeceased by his son Patrick; grandson Gabriel; his parents Ulysses and Irene; his brothers, Ulysses, Edward, Gerald, Joseph, and Victor; his sisters Eleanor, Agnes, Margaret, Rita, Theresa, Mary, Doris and Virginia.

He is survived by his wife Loretta Fedora O’Connor, his children Marybeth Plemmons (Kevin), Tim O’Connor (Terri), Tom O’Connor (Beth), David Nadeau, and their mother Gail O’Connor-Midgley; his brother James O’Connor; his stepchildren Bob Fedora (Doreen), Brenda Fedora (Jim), Jackie Zering (David) and Tom Fedora (Liz). He leaves his grandchildren Holly O’Connor, Jacob O’Connor, Ashlee O’Connor, Erin O’Connor, Tyler Zering and Josh Plemmons.

The family would like to thank the Trustbridge Hospice Center in Jupiter, FL for their compassionate comfort and care.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, January 13, 2023, at 8:30 AM at Firtion Adams Funeral Home, 76 Broad St. in Westfield, MA, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 9:30 AM at St. Peter’s Church, 22 State Street, Westfield, MA. Burial will be held at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Agawam following the Mass. Calling hours will be held on Thursday, January 12, 2023 from 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM at the Firtion Adams Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Donald O’Connor to the Westfield YMCA or the Special Olympics of Western Massachusetts.

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