David Francis O’Connor, 92, Pipestone, died Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne.
Mass of Christian burial is at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 9, at St. Leo Catholic Church in Pipestone. Burial will be in Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis.
David O’Connor was born to Joe and Marie (Bourdelais) O’Connor on May 10, 1924, in Beresford, South Dakota. He grew up in Vermillion, South Dakota, and left high school early to enter the military at age 18. He served his country during the D-Day landing June 6, 1944, as a medic on Utah Beach. After his military discharge, David completed his high school requirements in May 1946 and graduated from the University of South Dakota in May 1950 with a B.S. in education.
On May 28, 1949, David married Charlotte Ann Kaltsulas. He taught at Wallace, South Dakota, before he was called to active duty Oct. 1, 1950, for the Korean War. As a first lieutenant and company commander, David earned the Silver Star, the Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts. Upon his discharge from the military in 1952, David taught industrial arts at Jeffers. He was company commander of the Worthington Army Reserve Unit until 1965, when he moved his family from Jeffers to Pipestone. He was a recruiter for the Pipestone National Guard unit and worked as a ranger at the Pipestone National Monument. He retired from teaching in 1989.
David was a member of St. Leo Catholic Church in Pipestone. He loved to make furniture, and he also enjoyed refinishing the furniture he and Charlotte bought at auctions. When David was afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease, he lived at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Luverne for the last five years.
David is survived by his wife, Charlotte O’Connor, Pipestone; four children, Stephen (Bev) O’Connor, Rosemount, Gregory O’Connor, Lenexa, Kansas, Elizabeth (friend, Martie Garcia) O’Connor, Saint Paul, and Letitia “Tish” (Tom) Abrahamson, Pipestone; four grandchildren, David (Karen) Abrahamson, Sarah (Nick) Wagner, Mark (Santana) Abrahamson, and Alex Abrahamson; five great-grandchildren, Charlie and Lauren Wagner, and Cole, Noah, and Connor Abrahamson; four sisters, Catherine Danielson. Vermillion, South Dakota, Suzanne (Clare) Sorheim, Gillette, Wyoming, Letitia (Ed) Joyce, Middletown, New Jersey, and Judy (Bob) Shannon, Modesto, California.
David was preceded in death by his parents; one brother, Willard, and one sister, Margaret Fortin.
Arrangements were by Hartquist Funeral Home of Pipestone, www.hartquistfuneral.com.