James T. “Jim” O’Connor, 83, of Kewanee, died at 9:10 AM, Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at his home.Visitation will be held from 2:00 - 6:00 PM, Saturday, July 13 at Rux Funeral Home in Kewanee where military rites will be accorded at 6:00 PM. A Celebration of Life gathering will begin at 2:00 PM, Sunday, July 14 at the Elk’s Lodge in Kewanee with eulogies and life stories at 3:00 PM. It was his wishes for all who were able to join the family for this Celebration of Life. Memorials may be directed to the Jim O’Connor Memorial Fund.
He was born March 26, 1930 in Kewanee, the son of Clarence and Genevieve (Carney) O’Connor. He married Naoma K. Hudgin on July 23, 1950 in Wyanet and she preceded him in death on July 7, 1991. He later married Connie Sleaford on March 28, 1993 in Las Vegas, NV. She survives, as do two sons, Lane (Barbara) O’Connor of Towanda, IL and Tim (Robin) O’Connor of Kewanee, a daughter, Angie (Dave) Groth of Naperville, IL, three step-sons, Kurt (Rosemary) Sleaford of Fairfield, IA, Kip (Trudy) Sleaford of Atkinson and Kraig (Beth) Sleaford of Davenport, IA, a step-daughter, Kelly (John) Whicker of St. Charles, MO, a brother, Dave O’Connor of Mussel Shells, AL, five grandchildren, Erin, Ryan, Chelsea, Sammy and Danny, three step-grandchildren, Marcus, Ashley and Katie and three great grandchildren, Julius, Bryer and Brezlyn. He was also preceded in death by his parents, a brother, Bob and a foster son, Kirk Olson.
Jim graduated from Kewanee High School in 1948. He served his country in the Army National Guard during the Korean Conflict. He retired from the Kewanee Police Department in 1986 after 22 years of service as a Captain. He served on the Kewanee Park District Board and two terms on the Kewanee City Council. He was a member of the American Legion and the Elks, Moose and Eagle Lodges. He enjoyed traveling, golfing and attending auctions. He was a loving father and grandfather.