Dennis Francis O’Connor, age 80 of Topeka, passed away Thursday, March 22, 2018.
He was born on November 3, 1937 in Ogden, Utah, the son of Roderick G. and Virginia Lee (Drake) O’Connor. He went active into the Navy after basic training in San Diego and was sent to Norman, Oklahoma for Naval aviation school and then about three years on the USS Ticonderoga, CVA 14 aircraft carrier. He was a Korean Veteran and after serving in the Navy, joined the Marine Corp Reserve.
Dennis worked for 29 years on the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad as a trainman and conductor and three years on the Chicago North Western Black Hill Division out of Chadron, Nevada and one year on Amtrak. He was one of the founders of the Rio Grande Railroad Historical Society and Grand Junction Racing Pigeon Club.
He enjoyed collecting paintings, ashtrays, coins and other items. He raised racing pigeons and loved dogs and cats. He had an amazing memory and loved to talk. In the last year, Dennis moved to Kansas to be closer to his son, who he was most proud of and his family. He loved getting visits from his grandsons and telling them stories, giving them advice and sometimes treating them to a soda. He will be mostly remembered for his generosity and supporting many organizations that helped the less fortunate.
He is survived by his son, Brent O’Connor and wife Julie of St. George; his brother, Rod O’Connor of Boulder, Colorado; his sister, Pam Bloomquist of Salt Lake City, Utah and three grandsons, Joshua, Brayton and Evan O’Connor.
Graveside services with Military Honors will be held at 10:00 a.m. Monday, March 26, 2018 at the Kansas Veterans’ Cemetery with Pastor Jarad Garren officiating.