Thomas Patrick O’Connor, 77

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Thomas Patrick O’Connor, 77, of Poughkeepsie, NY, passed away on Thursday, September 20th, 2012 at the Vassar Brothers Medical Center in Poughkeepsie.

A television and radio journalist for three decades, Mr. O’Connor has interviewed world-renowned religious figures, celebrities, and local personalities. Much of his journalistic work has focused on the pro-life movement. As a member of the Third Order of Saint Dominic, he has promoted the Catholic faith and condemned the tragedy of abortion through his television apostolate, Heaven Bless the Little Ones.

Mr. O’Connor has traveled to Fatima, Portugal, and produced religious documentaries in Medjugorje, Yugoslavia (today, Bosnia-Herzegovina) and the Vatican. He has interviewed numerous participants at the annual March for Life in Washington, DC. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Dr. Jerome Lejeune, and Roman Catholic Clergy. On several occasions, he has debated from the pro-life position at forums hosted by Vassar College, the State University of New York at New Paltz, and Dutchess Community College.

Prior to his career in journalism, Mr. O’Connor spent three years in New York City pursuing an acting career and two years at the Abbey of the Genesee Trappist Monastery in Piffard, New York, pursing a religious vocation.

Mr. O’Connor attended Syracuse University and graduated from the State University of New York.

Born on June 29th, 1935, in Frankfort, NY, he was the son of the late Thomas B. and Helen (McCarthy) O’Connor. Thomas married Elizabeth Hester and she survives at home.

In addition to his loving wife, he is survived by his children; Thomas O’Connor of Rhinebeck, NY, Michael O’Connor of Poughkeepsie, NY, Veronica O’Connor of Washington, DC, Peter O’Connor of New York, NY, Lizabeth O’Connor of New Hampshire, and Paul O’Connor of New York, NY, his siblings; Francis O’Connor of Ilion, NY, and Peggy Yardley of Ilion, NY, and a grandchild; Riley Elizabeth O’Connor.

He was predeceased by three brothers; Timothy, Joseph O’Connor, and Jack O’Connor, and a sister; Helen Alexander.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10:00 AM on September 24th, 2012 at Church of the Good Shepherd, Rhinebeck, NY. Rev. Jeffrey R. Galens will officiate. Burial will be at St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Rhinecliff.

Friends may call at the Burnett & White Funeral Homes on Sunday, September 23rd, 2012 from 2 – 4 & 7 – 9 PM.

Memorial donations may be made in Thomas’s memory to the Good Counsel Homes for Unwed Mothers at

Arrangements are under the direction of Burnett & White Funeral Homes 91 E. Market St., Rhinebeck, NY.

For directions, or to sign the online guest book, please visit

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