January 23, 2019

Maurice J. O'Connor Jr.

Died Jan. 31, 2018


Maurice Jeremiah O’Connor Jr., 79, of Manistique died Jan. 31, 2018, at Christian Park Center in Escanaba after a long brave battle with diabetes and heart disease.

He was born April 11, 1938, in West Branch, the son of Maurice and Alvena (Brindley) O’Connor Sr. He went to grade school at the O’Connor School near Shady Shores and was a graduate of Rose City High School with the class of 1956. He was a natural athlete and excelled in baseball and basketball. He took accelerated math classes to prepare him for acceptance to Michigan Technological University. He started in the Sault Ste. Marie branch and continued his education at Michigan Tech in Houghton where he proudly received his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering in 1961.

Maurice started working for Chrysler Motors in Centerline as an engineer. While working in the Chrysler Defense Division, he was a test engineer on battle tanks in Alaska. Later he accepted a position at the Sperry-Rand-Vickers Corp. in Troy. While at Vickers, Maurice developed and invented a patented pump.

Upon moving to Manistique in 1971, he became the owner/proprietor of the Blue Spruce Motel for nine years and also owned and operated the Dairy Kream. He later established the O’Connor Cedar Mill, where he designed and produced the Pense Board. He lastly worked as an over-the-road truck driver for 12 years.

On Dec. 31, 1993, he married Beatrice M. Williams-Siewert in Escanaba, and they made their home in Manistique.

Maurice was a member of the Manistique Moose Lodge, the Knights of Columbus, the Manistique Elks Lodge and Indian Lake Golf Course through the years. He enjoyed hunting and fishing, golfing and bowling at the Elks. He enjoyed playing cards, especially euchre, which he learned as a child at George Lake. He was also an avid gardener and liked to smoke a pipe. He loved singing and playing his guitar and writing poetry. He lived life to the fullest, but his happiest moments were when he was surrounded by his family.

Maurice is survived by his wife, Beatrice M. O’Connor of Manistique; children from his first marriage, daughters Maureen (Edward) Guertin of Traverse City and Margaret (Stephen) McCarthy of Clinton Township and sons Timothy (Lynn) O’Connor of Flint and John (Jenny) O’Connor of Midland; six grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; six stepchildren; several step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren; siblings, Theresa Clark of Saginaw, Margaret (Robert) Scannell of California, Frances O’Connor of Florida, Ann (Fred) Gulick of Elk Rapids, Phyllis O’Connor (Tim Crowner) of California and Kathleen (Robert) DeGange of North Carolina; along with many beloved nieces and nephews.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother, Thomas O’Connor; and his sister, Mary Dikos.

Visitation will be held from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, 2018, at the Messier-Broullire Funeral Home in Manistique. A memorial service will follow at 3 p.m. at the funeral home with Pastor Ryan Gilroy officiating. Burial will be held at a later date in West Branch.

The Messier-Broullire Funeral Home of Manistique is assisting with the arrangements. Online condolences may be expressed at www.mbfuneral.com.


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