O'Connor, Michael John
- Born: 27 Jul 1870, Ft. Dodge, Iowa
- Marriage: Houlihan, Mary on 26 Oct 1898 in St. Rose of Lima Church, Denison, Iowa
- Died: 22 Feb 1972, Topeka, KS
- Buried: Mount Calvary Cemetery, Topeka, KS
Michael John O'Connor, 101, died Tuesday evening at his home, 1926 Burnett Road. He had been a patient in a Topeka hospital recently. He was born July 27, 1870, at Fort Dodge, Iowa, and spent his early life in the Denison, Iowa community. He moved to Kansas City, Kan., in 1907 and spent many years in Kansas City. After spending two years a Perry, he moved to Topeka in 1947. He lived at Wall Lake Iowa, about four years before his returned to Topeka in September, 1960. Mr. O'Connor had been a farmer in Iowa and later was a railroad employee at Kansas City, Kan., more than 30 years before he retired Jan. 6, 1938. He worked first for the Rock Island and later for the Chicago and Alton Railway, which later was absorbed by the Baltimore and Ohio. He was a car inspector when he retired.
He was a charter member of Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church and the donor ofthe large Virgin statue located above the north entrance to the church.
Mr. O'Connor was the honored guest at a reception in observance of his 100th birthday in July, 1970, at Most Pure Heart of Mary School. His two son; were concelebrants at a mass in his honor at the church prior to the reception. The Most Rev. Ignatius Strecker, archbishop of he Archdiocese of Kansas City n Kansas, was the principal celebrant at the mass.
Mr. O'Connor was a member of Knights of Columbus Council 821 at Kansas City, Kan., and the Brotherhood of Railway Carmen.
He was married to Mary Houlihan Oct. 26, 1898, at Denison, Iowa. She died in January, 1954. A son, Thomas F. O'Connor, died in December, 1968. Survivors include two sons, the Rev. John P. O'Connor, chaplain at St. Francis Hospital, and the Rev. Philip O'Connor, chaplain at the Topeka VA Hospital; three daughters, Anne, now Sister Mary Michael, O.S.B., Mount Convent, Atchison, Mrs. Marie McLaughlin, at home, and Eileen, now Sister Rose Michael, S.C.L., St. Francis Hospital; five grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
Services will be at 11 am Friday at Most Pure Heart of Mary Church. St. Vincentís Guild rosary will be at 3 pm, Spaulding Reading Circle rosary at 4 pm and parish rosary at 8 pm. Thursday. All will be at Brennan Funeral Home where Mr. OíConnor will lie in state from 2 to 9 pm Thursday. Burial will be in Mount Calvary Cemetery.
Mike O'CONNOR'S 100th BIRTHDAY PARTY:
Micheal John O'Connnor (Uncle Mike)
Michael J. O'Connor former resident of Denison and now of Topeka, Kansas was 100 years old Monday, July 27th, 1970, but celebrated his birthday Sunday. A Mass was concelebrated in his honor at noon Sunday at Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic church. Principal celebrant was Most Rev Ingatius Stecker, archbishop of the Archdioceses of Kansas City in Kansas. He was assisted by Mr. O'Connor's two sons, the Rev, John P. O'Connor and the Rev Philip O'Connor. Mr. O'Connor and his family were escorted into the church by an Honor Guard of 4th Degree Knights of Columbus. A special blessing from the Pope was conferred on Mr. O'Connor and his family by the Archbishop. The mass was followed by a reception until 3 p.m. in the Most Pure Heart of Mary School Hall. Mr. O'Connor's five living children were at the festivities and also the widow of his deceased son and all of his grandchildren except for one who is married to a serviceman stationed far away.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DEAR "POP" A HUNDDRED TIMES HAPPY
Mr. O'Connor was born July 27, 1870 at Fort Dodge, the son of a railroader and the seventh in a family of eleven children; He spent his early life near Denison. He was married in October, 1898, in Denison to Mary Houlihan. They had been married 55 years when Mrs. O'Connor died in January, 1954. After their marriage, the O'Connors spent a few years at Denison, where five of their six children were born. They then moved in 1907 to Kansas City, Kans., where Mr. O'Connor worked for the railroad for more than 30 years. Since Mrs. O'Connor's death, lie has made his home with his daughter, Marie, first at Wall Lake and since 1960 in Topeka.
Of his children, the oldest is Anne, now Sister Mary Michael, O.S.B., who marked her 50th anniversary as a nun a few years ago and now lives at Atchison.
The next daughter is Marie, now Mrs. James McLaughlin. who is described by her brothers and sisters as the "jewel of the family" for her continuous care of their father since the death of their mother. She has one daughter, Mrs. Pat Duffy, Shenandoah, who has four children. The youngest daughter is Eileen, now Sister Rose Michael, S.C.L, who has been a registered nurse for 44 years and is currently at St. Francis Hospital in Topeka. The oldest son is the Rev. John P, O'Connor who established Most Pure Heart of Mary parish where he was pastor until 1962. He has since been chaplain at St. Francis Hospital in Topeka. Also a priest is another son, the Rev. Philip O'Connor, who served as a chaplain overseas during World War II and Korean conflict. He has been chaplain at the Topeka VA Hospital since 1953. The youngest O'Connor, Thomas, was a banker in Kansas City, Kan. until his death in December, 1968. He married Margaret Ha'rdy and they had four children.
Dignitaries attending the mass and reception included the Kansas governor, the Honorable Richard Docking, Mayor Gene C. Martin of Topeka, the Rt. Rev. Thomas Hartman O.S.B., Abbott, Benedictine Order, Atchison, Kansas; the Rev, Mother Mary Austin Shirmer O.S.B., Benedictine Order, Atchison, Kansas; and 20 priests in the sanctuary. Birthday greetings were received from President Nixon, U. S. Senator Bob Dole of Kansas; the Honorable Richard Docking, Governor of Kansas; U. S. Representatives Wallace M, Buck, Jr. and Chester L, Mizi; and Archbishop Hunkeler of the Leavenworth Diocese.
Claire Meehan; niece of Mr, O'Connor and Mrs, Helen Mullen were in Topeka, Kans. over the weekend to attend the mass honoring Mr. O'Connor at the Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic church.
Uncle Mikes 100th Birthday Celebration
Topeka Daily Capital - 07/23/1940
By Dan Omernik
Michael J. O'Connor, 1928 Burnett Road, a retired railroader who still smokes a pipe will be 100 years old Monday, but his big birthday party is planned for Sunday. His two sons will concelebrants at a mass in his honor at noon Sunday at Most Pure Heart of Mary Catholic Church. Principal celebrant will be the Most Rev. Ignatius Strecker, archbishop of Kansas City, Kansas. The Rev. John P. O'Connor and his brother Rev. Philip O'Connor will assist the archbishop.
Reception Planned The mass will be followed by reception until 3:00 pm in the Most Pure Heart of Mary School hall. The centenarianís five living children will be on hand for the festivities. The widow of his deceased son also will attend, as will all his grandchildren except one who is married to a serviceman stationed far away. Although his hearing has faded a bit, Michael O'Connor still enjoys good health and his bobbies - playing the Jewís harp and smoking his pipe. (PoP) O'Connor declares that if anybody ever took his pipe and tobacco away, "they might as well hit me in the head". Pop still has his sense of humor as well as his smoking tobacco.
He was born July 27th, 1870, at Fort Dodge, Iowa, the son of a railroader and the last in the family of nearly a dozen children. He spent his early life near Denison, Iowa. He was married in October 1893 in Denison to Mary Houlihan. They had been married 65 years when Mrs. O'Connor died in January of 1954. After their marriage, the O'Connors spent a few years at Denison, where five of their six children were born. They packed them up and in 1907 moved to Kansas City, Kansas, where Mike O'Connor worked for the railroad for more than 30 years. He worked firs for Rock Island and later for the Chicago and Alton Railway, which later was absorbed by the Baltimore and Ohio. He was a car inspector and still lived in Kansas City, Kan., when he retired Jan. 6th, 1938.
Of the six O'Connor offspring, four followed religious careers. The oldest is Anne, now Sister Mary Michael O.S.B., who marked her 50th anniversary as a nun a few years ago. Now living in Atchison, she was a grade school principal for many years and taught at Lenexa, Marysville and Atchison, Kansas. The next daughter is Marie, now Mrs. James McLaughlin, who is described by her brothers and sisters as "the jewel of the family" for her continuous care of their father since the death of their mother. Mrs. McLaughlin has one daughter Pat Duffy, Shenandoah, Iowa, who has four children The youngest O'Connor daughter is Eileen, now Sister Rose Michael, S.C.I., who has been a registered nurse for 44 years. Currently, she is at St. Francis Hospital in Topeka and formerly was a laboratory technician for the late Dr. J. L. Lattimore. The oldest son is the Rev. John P. O'Connor, who established Most Pure Heart of Mary parish where he was pastor until 1962. He has since been chaplain at St. Francis Hospital, Topeka, KS. He formally was an assistant at Assumption parish and was pastor at St. Theresa's Church at Perry. Also a priest is another son, the Rev Philip O'Connor, who served as a chaplain during World War II and the Korean conflict. He has been chaplain at the Topeka VA Hospital since 1953. KC Banker
The youngest O'Connor was a banker, Thomas O'Connor was born in Kansas City, Kansas where he spent most of his life. He worked at Commercial National Bank on the Kansas side and later at Kansas City Bank and Trust Company in Missouri. He was married to the former Margaret Hardy and they had four children. He died in December 1968.
Father John and Father Phil O'Connor were most instrumental in persuading their father and sister to move to Topeka, Kansas after the death of Mrs. McLaughlin's husband in 1956.
Michael O'Connor made his home with Mrs. McLaughlin at Wall Lake, Iowa, but visited Topeka, Kansas many times. They finally moved to Topeka in September 1960 and selected their home in the 1900 block of Burnett Road - right between two Protestant churches less than a block away in either direction.
The location of their home near the churches was coincidental but Michael O'Connor past 90 at the time joked that he could attend church nearby if unable to attend mass at Most Pure Heart of Mary about 10 blocks away. Father Phil O'Connor lived with his father and sister since the home is near the VA Hospital.
POEM by Sister M. Antoinette, O.S.B
Dated July 27th, 2970
Few people ever had the honor
Bestowed on Michael J. 0'Connor
It would seem, that by heaven's plan
He is a very special man.
Keen eyes are peering, mind still clear
While celebrating one hundredth year
of life, so rich in many blessing
To all of us this is impressing.
Two sons as priests concelebrate
Two daughters, nuns, with joy await
The aged FATHER at the Mass
Led by Archbishop as they pass.
Reception followed in their plan
To rightly honor this great man.
The CENTENARIAN would discuss
"Canít see why they make all this fuss."
Though POP would seldom have a gripe
He called for his old friend, the pipe.
Soon clouds of smoke rolled through the air
Contented in his old arm chair
To introduce hire on this day
Spent early life in I-O-WA
There, married Mary Houlihan
A worthy wife for such a man.
The children mentioned as above
Bespeak a Christian home, where love
Of God and parents set the pace
Vocations followed as a grace.
Thus Father John and Father Phil
As pastors their careers fulfill.
The oldest one as we shall see
Is Sister Mary Michael, 0,S.B.
Sister Rose Michael, S.C.L.
A nurse, by many known well.
Next comes Marie, POP'S precious gem
For many years has cared for him.
We home that Tom Awaits us all
Having received the final call.
POP, railroad man, for many years
Is traveling Heavenwards without fears.
Michael married Mary Houlihan, daughter of Simon Houlihan and Nancy (Anna) O'Donnell, on 26 Oct 1898 in St. Rose of Lima Church, Denison, Iowa. (Mary Houlihan was born on 8 Aug 1868 in Kilkee County Clare, Ireland, died on 14 Jan 1954 in Topeka, KS and was buried in Mount Calvary Cemetery, Topeka, KS.)
Witnesses were Patsy Houlihan and Bridget O'Connor