Obituary of Paul Bernard O'Connor
The family of Paul Bernard O’Connor is heartbroken to announce his peaceful passing, after a short illness, On Friday, February 24, 2023, at the Saint John Regional Hospital.
Paul was born in Saint John, NB in 1941, a treasured son of the late Charles Bernard O’Connor and Gertrude (Logan) O’Connor.
He is survived by his wife of over 56 years, Joanne (Hughes) O’Connor and his two beautiful daughters, Tara Colleen O’Connor (David Pye) and Dr. Erin Maureen O’Connor (Dr. Ben Kenney) and their two children, Rory and Maeve, who were Grampie’s pride and joy.
Paul is also survived by brothers, Terrance (Charlene) O’Connor: William (Donna) O’Connor; his sister, Kathleen O’Connor; sister-in-law, Martha Hughes and many cousins, nieces, nephews, grand nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his special cousin, whom he thought of as a sister, Nancy Liuzzo.
Paul attended St. Peter’s Boys School until leaving for further studies at St. Mary’s College in Brockville, Ontario. He received a B.A. Degree from St. Thomas University in Chatham, NB. He continued his education at UNB Fredericton, receiving his B.Ed. and later his M.Ed.
Paul embarked on a teaching career in 1964 at Aberdeen Junior High School followed by Hillcrest Elementary School as Principal. His career then took him back to Aberdeen for a few years before moving onto Forest Hills Middle School where he was a teacher and vice principal, retiring in 2002 as acting principal.
Outside of the classroom, Paul made many contributions to student life. Recognizing many of his students were coming to school hungry, he pioneered a free breakfast program at his school. Seeing that students lacked sexual education, along with his cousin Ann Barrett they developed a sexual education program which became part of the Health curriculum in the local school system. He also volunteered to coach the girls softball and soccer teams when the school was at risk of not having a way for girls to play.
After retirement from teaching, he joined the Corp of Commissionaires, and was stationed at Saint John Airport for a period of ten years.
He was also a member of the Army Reserves (Lt - RCMAC) and was classified as Army, Ready Reserve until the age of 50.
Paul was a loving husband, father, and Grampie. He loved his home, his garden and Notre Dame football. Always proud of his Irish heritage, he made it a point to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day every year by flying the Irish flag at his school. One memorable year while at university in Chatham he painted the center line in the middle of town green. A number of years later on March 17th he was caught on news cameras celebrating with a pint at O’Leary’s while he was supposed to be teaching. Perhaps most memorably he proposed to his beloved Joanne on St. Patrick’s Day.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Brenan’s Funeral Home, 111 Paradise Row, Saint John, NB (634-7424). In honouring Paul’s wishes no funeral service will take place. A visitation will be held at Brenan’s on Wednesday, March 1, 2023 from 2 – 4PM and 6 – 8 PM. A private interment will take place at a later date.
Paul’s family would like to thank the staff of 5CS and 3BN for the care Paul received in his last days. The family would also like to thank Dr. Way, Dr. Wood, Dr. Lalonde and Dr. Love for the care they provided. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Palliative Care Unit at Saint John Regional Hospital or to Bobby’s Hospice are encouraged. Online condolences may be placed at www.BrenansFH.com
“Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; Love leaves a memory no one can steal” – Traditional Irish Toast