Cover photo for Michael Joseph O'Connor's Obituary
1945 Michael 2023

Michael Joseph O'Connor

October 13, 1945 — October 9, 2023

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Michael Joseph O’Connor, 77 years old, of West Valley City, Utah died peacefully in his sleep on October 9, 2023 following a long illness. Mike was born in Salt Lake City, Utah on October 13, 1945 at almost 10 lbs. He was often called a “Gentle Giant” due to his height of 6’5” and broad shoulders. 

Mike recorded many of his ‘Mighty Misadventures’ including funny stories from his youth, his time in the military, working for the Salt Lake City Fire Department, and raising his family. Mike proudly served in the United States Marine Corps from 1965-1968 including a tour in Vietnam. When he returned he joined the Salt Lake City Fire Department where he worked as an EMT/Firefighter Technician from 1969 to 1989. He helped set up the old Salt Lake City Emergency Dispatch Center on 300 South. He also was the first person to test the address location (now called GPS) for emergency phone calls, and traveled all over the city validating the system. Additionally, he invented a communication device for inside the helmets for firefighters to better communicate during a fire. He didn’t pursue a patent as it was very important to him that the technology be readily available to firefighters. He went on to work in security at various locations including as the Security Training Officer at Kennecott Copper Mine, and Security Site Supervisor at Utah National Guard at Army Aviation Support Facility (Airport #2), West Jordan, Utah. Throughout his life, Mike was very active in the Catholic Church, Boy Scouts, Hibernian Society, Retired Firefighters Association, and Knights of Columbus. He was honored to be elected as Grand Knight with Knights of Columbus.

Mike wrote, “I have come to believe that I am very lucky. I also believe that I ended up in

different places for a reason. Sometimes the reason is not obvious until maybe later in

life. Sometimes I still don’t know the reason. Hopefully, as I have tiptoed through the

tulips of life, I will be able to say that I made others life a little better and I became a

better person because of my experiences.”

Mike was preceded in death by his mother, Margaret McMenamin O’Connor; father, Cornelius Jeremiah Daniel O’Connor; siblings, Thomas O’Connor, Peter O’Connor, Peggy Haase, Cornelius “Neil” O’Connor. Survived by wife, Marguerite Kerr O’Connor; children, Christine O’Connor, Sean O’Connor (Karie), Theresa O’Connor, Kaylene O’Connor Christensen (Jerren), Kate McMahon (Neil); 8 adoring grandchildren; and many other family members and close friends.

Visitation will be held Monday, October 16, 2023 from 6-7:30 p.m. with a Rosary at 7:30 p.m. at Peel Funeral Home, 8525 W. Magna Main St. A visitation from 10-10:45 a.m. followed by Funeral Mass at 11 a.m. will be on Tuesday, October 17, 2023 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 2840 S. 9000 W. Committal with Military Rites: Utah Veterans Memorial Park, 17111 S. Redwood Rd.

To donate to Michael’s funeral fund, please do so via venmo @Irish-Mike-fund.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Michael Joseph O'Connor, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Monday, October 16, 2023

6:00 - 7:30 pm (Mountain time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Rosary

Monday, October 16, 2023

Starts at 7:30 pm (Mountain time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Visitation

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

10:00 - 10:45 am (Mountain time)

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church

2840 S 9000 W, Magna, UT 84044

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Mass

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Mountain time)

Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church

2840 S 9000 W, Magna, UT 84044

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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