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Friday, Oct. 24, 2014

William Thomas O'Connor

Friday, May 9, 2008

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William Thomas O'Connor, 73, attorney at law, of New Ulm, Minn., passed away May 8, 2008, in his home surrounded by his family.

Mass of Christian Burial for William will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 13, 2008, at St. Mary's Catholic Church. Msgr. Douglas Grams and the Most. Rev. John C. Nienstedy, Archbishop of the Achodiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis will celebrate the service.

Visitation will be held at the Minnesota Valley Funeral Home from 3-8 p.m. on Monday. There will be a rosary by the Knights of Columbus at 6:30 p.m. and a parish prayer service at 7:30 p.m. at the funeral home.

Interment following the mass will take place in the New Ulm Catholic Cemetery.

Bill was born in St. Paul on Oct. 2, 1934, to William and Grace O'Connor of Belle Plaine, Minn. He was raised in Belle Plaine with his three sisters. After graduating in 1952 from Belle Plaine High School he graduated from the College of St.Thomas in 1959 and William Mitchell College of Law in 1963. He married Mary Kay Manley on Feb. 16, 1963, in St. Paul, Minnesota and in 1964 they moved to New Ulm where he joined the Berens Rodenberg law firm.

Bill dedicated his life to the practice of law, his family and his faith. Over the course of his 44 year career as an attorney with Berens, Rodenberg & O'Connor he devoted his practice to the people of New Ulm and to cooperatives. He was awarded the Jaycees' Outstanding Young Man of the Year award. For many years he served as the Assistant County Attorney for Brown County and occasionally for Redwood County and Sibley County. In addition, he also served on many boards over his career, serving as the chairman of the board for Loretto Hospital. Bill served on the Lawyer's Board of Professional Responsibility and the local, ethics board. In his civic life he served on the New Ulm Public Utilities Commission and the Police Commission.

For two decades Bill served on the board of directors of Turner Hall and was also its president. As a member of the Knights of Columbus he became the Grand Knight in 1965 and went on to be the state advocate and editor of the state paper. He especially enjoyed serving as the attorney for the Diocese of New Ulm, serving under three bishops, and received a Distinguished Service Award from Bishop Lucker.

After teaching CCD for 25 years he was given the Good Neighbor Award by the City of New Ulm.

He was preceded in death by his parents; sisterszz; Mary Pat Sifferle and Eileen Gudmundsen; and nephew, Jim Gudmundsen.

Bill is survived by his wife, Mary and their five children and families: Timothy and Margaret O'Connor of Richfield, Minn. and their children Meagan, Erin and Kelly; Katie and Larry Gambell of Spencer and their children, Shawn and Madeleine Dickson of Fuerth, Germany, and their children, Maxim and Liam, Colin Dickson of Ames Iowa and Brianna and Crystal Gambell of Spencer, Iowa; Daniel O'Connor and wife, Emily of New Ulm, and their children, Korinne, Quinlan, Ethan and Madalyn; Michael O' Connor and wife, Mary of Lakeville, Minn. and their children Caroline, Claire and Matthew, and Molly Poulson and husband, Lyle of New Ulm and their children Ramsey and Camryn; and his sister, Donna Healy and husband, Mark of Minnetonka, Minn.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the American Cancer Society and St. Mary's Church.