William J. O’Connor, 84

Oct. 6, 1933 - April 27, 2018
William J. O’Connor, Oct. 6, 1933 - April 27, 2018

William J. O’Connor died at his Montauk home on April 27 of cancer after a long illness. He was 84.

Known to friends as Teach, Mr. O’Connor retired in 1989 from a career in teaching and moved to Montauk full time in 1992, where he designed and helped build a family house. He also took a job as an irrigation specialist at Montauk Downs, a state golf course, where a bench is to be dedicated to him in a private ceremony.

He was born in the Bronx on Oct. 6, 1933, one of four sons of the former Nora Collins and Henry O’Connor. He grew up in Dobbs Ferry, N.Y., and graduated from Dobbs Ferry High School before studying at the University of Miami for two years and then earning a teaching degree from the State University at Albany.

 A scholar of American history, Mr. O’Connor taught at Kakiat Junior High School in Spring Valley, N.Y., commuting from Dobbs Ferry. He was a former chief and a lifelong member of the Odgen Engine Company of the Dobbs Ferry Fire Department and also served as a town trustee.

Mr. O’Connor’s daughters, Allison Mathews of Paradise Valley, Ariz., and Laura Lukmann of Montvale, N.J., survive, as do three grandchildren and a longtime companion, Sallye Vonk of Delray Beach, Fla. His brothers, Hank O’Connor and John O’Connor, both of Montauk, also survive. Another brother, Henry O’Connor, and a son, Kevin Patrick O’Connor, died before him. 

No funeral plans were made, but memorial donations were suggested for the Kevin P. O’Connor Memorial Foundation, P.O. Box 2522, Montauk 11954.