PEABODY — Robert D. O'Connor, 83, of Peabody, died on Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011 at the Spaulding Hospital North Shore in Salem after a lengthy illness.
Bob was born in Peabody on May 24, 1927 son of Dennis E. and Marion G. (Hayes) O'Connor. He was raised in Peabody, only attended one day in his Senior Year in 1945 being drafted on his second day into the U.S. Army at the tail end of World War II, graduating from Peabody High School in 1946.
While serving in the Army his baseball skills were immediately recognized by some "Army Brass." He spent most of his time travelling around Europe, playing ball for the U.S. Army and helped them make it to the Armed Forces Baseball World Series. While in high school as a junior Bob was selected for the "Boston Globe All Scholastic Team" and was elected team Captain. Also as an outstanding athlete he started and excelled on both the High School Football and Hockey teams.
Upon his return from the service, "Bobby" became actively involved in youth sports, and played semi pro baseball on various teams throughout the North Shore. He starred for teams like the "Friscoes," Verza Tanning, and the famous Rowe Motor Club. He later became quite involved with the creation of Peabody's First Little League which began with only four teams.
On Nov. 24, 2000 Bobby was awarded the highest honor any Peabody Athlete could receive. As a three sport athlete he was inducted into the Peabody High School Hall of Fame. The plaque was presented to Bobby by his closest friend the late Lou Surman of Peabody who had also been inducted into the Peabody Hall of Fame.
In later years, Bobby was employed for the Eastman Gelatine Corporation and later as a maintenance man for the City of Peabody School Department until his retirement. As an avid sportsman he followed his favorite teams, Boston College Eagles Football team, Bruins, Red Sox and the N.E. Patriots.
Bobby is survived by his nephew and wife, Edward O'Connor Jr. and Suzanne O'Connor; a niece and her husband, Maryann and Michael Foody; a sister-in-law, Mary O'Connor and for the past 25 years, his closest friends whom he considered as his "extended family" were Richie and Laurie Bettencourt of Peabody, and their sons, Rick, his wife Jenn, and daughter Kailey, Tim, his wife Dahsa and daughter Olive. His brother, Edward J. O'Connor predeceased him. The Bettencourt family would like to express special thanks to Regina, Terry, Sandy and Lorie who aided and cared for Bob in his final years at the Spaulding Hospital North Shore.
ARRANGEMENTS: His funeral will be held on Friday, Feb. 18, 2011 at 11:30 a.m. in the Conway, Cahill-Brodeur Funeral Home, 82 Lynn St., Peabody. His extended family will receive relatives and friends on Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers his family requested that donations be made in Bobby's name to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation, MA Chapter, 715 Albany St., C329, Boston, MA 02118. His committal of ashes will be held with his family at a later time. For directions, online obituary and memorial guestbook please visit www.ccbfuneral.com.