Joseph M. O’Connor, 89, entered into eternal life on Christmas Eve in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.
Born in Sligo, Ireland on October 20, 1928, he was the second eldest of five children. Joe’s family moved to London, England when he was twelve. As a young man, he loved soccer and played professionally for Charlton Athletic Football Club. In 1954, he married Christine “Peggy” O’Connor (née Ryan) in London, and in 1956 they moved to Metuchen, NJ where he found work at the Ford Motor Company and Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi. Joe spent most of his years enjoying family, supporting the then newly formed Elizabeth Irish Soccer Club, and watching his children’s sports activities. He later he took up the game of golf and enjoyed semi-retirement as a marshal at the Rutgers Golf Course. After moving to Cranbury, NJ Joe remained an avid reader and could often be seen walking or perfecting his golf swing in the local park.
Joe was predeceased by his parents Philip and Catherina O’Connor, his eldest brother Sean, as well as two of his sons: Kevin and Brian.
Joe is survived by Peggy, his wife of 63 years; his siblings Michael, Brian, and Phillippa; his children Nuala Ann (Anthony Passannante), Frances (Thomas Williams), Geraldine O’Connor, and Joseph O’Connor (Niurka) as well as 15 grandchildren, a great-grandchild, many nieces and nephews, and a large and close extended family.
He was a devoted husband, a wise and fair father, and a loving grandfather. He will be remembered for being a true gentleman- strong in faith, quiet mannered, and true to his convictions. His knowing smile and signature wink will be missed.
A Memorial Visitation will be held on January 19, 2018 from 8:30 am to 9:45 am at Costello Runyon Funeral Home, 568 Middlesex Ave., Metuchen, NJ, followed by a 10:15 am Mass of Christian Burial at the Cathedral of St. Francis of Assisi, 32 Elm Ave., Metuchen, NJ. A private inurnment will occur at St. Denis Church, Havertown, PA, on a later date.
In lieu of flowers, kindly consider making a donation to the Dementia Society of America https://www.dementiasociety.org/donate.