John M. O’Connor, 80, of Dubuque, IA, died on Monday, October 7, 2019, at MercyOne, following a hard-fought battle with bladder cancer, with his wife and daughter at his side.
Mass of Christian burial will be held at St Joseph The Worker Church on Wednesday, October 23, 2019, at 4 p.m. Military rites will be held immediately after at the Church. In lieu of a visitation, there will be a Celebration of John’s life at the Dubuque Golf & Country Club, 1800 Randall Place, immediately following. All are welcome to attend.
John was born on September 10, 1939 (on his mother’s birthday), son of Clem and Aileen (Quinlan) O’Connor. He grew up in the Point area of Dubuque and attended Holy Trinity Elementary School and Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie Du Chien, WI. He attended Loras College and graduated from the University of Iowa. John served in the Marine Corps from 1962-1964. After spending a few years in California, John moved back to Dubuque and met the love of his life, Glenna (Gross). They were married at Nativity Church on February 27, 1976. They welcomed their “favorite” daughter, Alanna, on April 15, 1979.
John started his career in the steel industry at Dubuque Gases & Steel in 1976, which is now known as Klockner Metals, from which he retired in January of 2015. During his career, he went from vice president at Dubuque Gases & Steel to regional manager of Klockner Metals. John was especially proud of his success at mentoring Klockner employees who went on to their own personal success.
John had many areas of interest. He was a voracious reader, especially history and the Civil War, which prompted 5 battlefield trips with his “Band of Brothers”, his brother Jim and friends Brendan, Tom and Russ. He was also an avid runner, having completed 12 marathons (the 2 Marine Corps marathons in Washington D.C. being his favorite) and participated in many local and area races. He served as president of the Mississippi Valley Running Association for many years. He was also active on many local and civic boards. He and his wife, Glenna, loved to travel and enjoyed road trips in the U.S., as well as adventures abroad, many of which were with sister Kathleen, brother Jim and their spouses. In recent years, they enjoyed spending winters in sunny Arizona. His love of cooking, passed down to his daughter Alanna, provided many gourmet meals for family and friends. He was also a HUGE fan of the Green Bay Packers and the Iowa Hawkeyes.
He is survived by his wife, Glenna, of 43 years, and his daughter, Alanna, of Chicago. Also surviving are his brother, Jim (Sylvia), of Venice, FL; sister, Kathleen (Hugh) Seavers, of Sun Lakes, AZ; in-laws, Margie and Neil (Deb) Gross, of Dubuque, Al (Mary) Gross, of Des Moines, and Donna (Jim) Brady, of DeWitt; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother-in-law, Mike Doran; and his mother and father-in-law, Mona and Ed Gross.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in John’s name to Clarke University in Dubuque in support of the O’Connor Family Scholarship.
A special thanks to all the love and support from our families and dear friends (you all know who you are!). A special thanks to Dr. Eric Engelman, his devoted staff, Dr. Andrea Reis, the staff on 3 West Medical at MercyOne, especially Megan and Jessica.
Hoffmann Schneider & Kitchen Funeral Home and Cremation Service are in care of the arrangements. A photo TributeVideo can be viewed and condolences can be sent to the family by visiting John’s obituary at www.hskfhcares.com