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James J. O'Connor

by Susan J. Ainsworth
December 15, 2014 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 92, Issue 50

James J. O’Connor, 87, a retired Texaco senior research chemist, died on July 26 in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., after a brief illness.

Born in Philadelphia, O’Connor served in the Navy during World War II. He earned a B.S. degree in 1952 and an M.S. in 1954, both in chemistry, from Saint Joseph’s University in his hometown.

He worked briefly for DuPont in Wilmington, Del., and for Robertshaw in King of Prussia, Pa. He then spent 27 years at Texaco’s Beacon Research Center in Fishkill, N.Y., retiring as a senior research chemist in 1991. O’Connor was an emeritus member of ACS, joining in 1959.

He was an active member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Poughkeepsie, serving in multiple ministries. He is remembered as a devoted husband, father, and grandfather, who willingly shared his vast knowledge, imparted his sage wisdom, and entertained his family with quick wit, storytelling, and song—all with a twinkle in his eye.

O’Connor is survived by his wife of 61 years, Therese; daughters, Patricia Rippey, Sarah Roa, Mary, and Therese; sons, Michael, Stephen, Paul, and Ed; and 12 grandchildren.

Obituary notices of no more than 300 words may be sent to Susan J. Ainsworth at ­ and should include an educational and professional history.


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