Sacred Heart Parish mourns death of John T. O’Connor II

A funeral Mass for longtime Sacred Heart Cathedral parishioner and Diocese of Knoxville attorney John T. O’Connor II was celebrated Feb. 14 at the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Father David Boettner was the Mass celebrant, with Monsignor Bob Hofstetter, Father Arthur Torres, and Father Marcin Gladysz concelebrating. Deacons Sean Smith and Walt Otey also served at the Mass. The burial was in Calvary Cemetery.

Mr. O’Connor, born July 19, 1935, passed away Feb. 10 at his home at the age of 83. He was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas A. and Esther D. O’Connor and was a grandson of former Knoxville Mayor John T. O’Connor.

Mr. O’Connor had a successful law practice until his retirement in 2010. He served as Knoxville Bar Association president in 1984 and was the recipient of the KBA’s highest honor, the Governors’ Award, in 2013.

Mr. O’Connor was an active member of the Cathedral of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus for more than 50 years, where he served as a cantor, choir member, and in various ministries. He received the Benemerenti Medal from Pope Benedict XVI in 2006 for his service to the Catholic Church as well as the Immaculata Award in 2010 from the Diocese of Knoxville for his service to the Church and the diocese.

Mr. O’Connor served as chairman of the board of Knoxville Catholic High School, on the board of the American Red Cross, and as a longtime member of the Knights of Columbus Council 5207 and a Sir Knight in Assembly 1083.

Mr. O’Connor, who was preceded in death by his brother, William, is survived by his wife of more than 54 years, Betsy; sons, John (Jen) and Matt; daughter Mary Virginia Costello (Vince); and four grandchildren, Paul, Patrick, Regan, and Connor. He also is survived by sister Patsy Greer, brothers David O’Connor and Daniel O’Connor (Rena), sister Esther Shogren (Paul), sister-in-law Nannette O’Connor, and several nieces and nephews.

The family requested that memorials be made to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral, 711 S. Northshore Drive, Knoxville, TN 37919.

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