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1939 David 2021

David J. O'Connor

June 5, 1939 — December 20, 2021

David J. O’Connor, 82, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather passed away at home in Berrien Springs on Dec. 20, 2021 under Hospice care, with his family by his side. His pain is gone and he is now at peace.

David was born in Chicago, Ill. to John Michael and Patronella O’Connor on June 5, 1939, the second oldest of six children. He graduated from Mendel Catholic High School in Chicago in 1956.

His wife, Celia Jean, joined him in marriage in 1971. They were married for 50 years and together raised a family of 11 children. After marrying Celia, he returned to school to become a Registered Nurse working in the Cardiac Unit at Ingalls Hospital in Harvey, Ill. He later become the Director of Nursing at Chicago Osteopathic Hospital. The family later moved to Michigan where he was one of the Senior Vice Presidents of then Lakeland Regional Health System. He retired in 2004 after 22 years of service. After retirement, David and Celia traveled back and forth to Florida for several years before settling down in Berrien Springs. He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Niles.

David loved watching the Chicago Bears, especially alongside his sons, where there may or may not have been a lot of yelling involved. He also loved woodworking and tinkering around in his workshop. He was a great storyteller and had a wonderful comedic streak with great timing that has been passed down to his children. But above all, he was a wonderful husband and father who was there for his children and helped each of them in their own time of need.

He is preceded in death by his parents, John Michael and Patronella O’Connor; siblings: Maureen Garren, Thomas O’Connor, Mike O’Connor; and son, Patrick O’Connor.

David will forever be remembered in the hearts of his wife, Celia, of Berrien Springs; children: Cheryl (Bob) Merrell of Virginia, David K. (Tammy) O’Connor, Annette Boudreau, Michael (Leisa) O’Connor, John O’Connor, all of Michigan; stepchildren: Shirley Ruder of Florida, Mary Ellen Reese of Indiana, Anne Kaufman and Christina Kaufman both of Michigan, Donna Muir of Florida; 18 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; sisters, Margaret (Jim) Hermesdorf of Florida and Kathleen (Greg) Helge of Maryland.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Caring Circle, St. Joseph; or St. Jude Research Hospital for Children.

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