Capt. Paul O’Connor, USN (Ret.) passed peacefully from this earth on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, with his wife, Barbara “Bobbi” and his daughters, Dr. Colleen O’Connor, Cmdr Cathleen O’Connor Ring, (USNR, Ret.) and son-in-law RDML John Ring, (USN, Ret.) by his side.
Paul was born in Far Rockaway, New York on Veteran’s Day 1935. He was the son of Thomas V. O’Connor and Florence Corrigan O’Connor and younger brother of Thomas V. O’Connor, Jr. He was predeceased by his son, Paul O’Connor, Jr. and his daughter-in-law Carolyn Morris O’Connor.
Paul was a graduate of Bishop Loughlin Memorial Academy in Brooklyn, New York and the University of Notre Dame. He held Master Degrees in Meteorology and Oceanography from the United States Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California and Defense and Strategic Studies from the United States Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island.
During his 30-year career as a Naval Aviator, his duty stations spanned the globe from Bermuda to Japan with 23 years in his favorite port, Oahu, Hawaii where he was the Commanding Officer of Patrol Squadron Six, Commanding Officer of Naval Air Station, Barber’s Point and Chief of Staff of Pearl Harbor. Upon his retirement from the Navy, he became Director of the International Aviation Development Office in the office of the Governor of Hawaii.
In addition to his two daughters and son-in-law, Capt. O’Connor is survived by his cherished grandchildren Zachary O’Connor (Jaime) Grochowski, Christian O’Connor (Rebecca) Grochowski, Jane O’Connor (Clay) Callaway, Kathryn O’Connor and great grandson, Parker Pearce Grochowski, step-great grandchildren, Jordan and Jackson.
A dedicated volunteer, he was a Midway Museum docent, served as Social Chair for the Coronado Crown Club and served as the President of the Notre Dame Club of Tucson, Arizona where he was awarded Man of the Year in 2005.
Ever the gentleman, he was admired and respected by many friends, colleagues and shipmates.
Having slipped the surly bonds of earth he put out his hand and touched the face of God.