Richard Arthur O’Connor was born in Marshall, Texas on October 3, 1925, and was born into eternal life on November 9, 2017. Growing up in Marshall, he attended St. Mary's Academy. In 1942, at the age of 17, he joined the Army Air Corps and served as crew chief/mechanic on the P51 Mustang 'Miss Polly' in the European Theater.
Richard attended LSU, where he met and married his first wife, Betty Lou Wood. Richard and Betty moved to Longview in 1952 where they raised their four children, and Richard had a 40 year career with Knox Lee Power Plant. They were married 46 years until Betty’s passing. In April of 1995, Richard married Laura Duty of Longview, and they were married 22 years until her passing.
Richard was a faithful member of St. Anthony’s and St Mary's Catholic Churches, and was a 3rd Degree Knight of Columbus. He was a loving and active father and husband, enjoying Boy Scouts activities with his sons, hunting, fishing canoeing, and Taekwondo, in which he earned a 2nd Degree Black Belt.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Jenny O’Connor, first wife Betty, second wife Laura, and brother Patrick Joseph O'Connor. He is survived by sister Jane Harris of Marshall, sons, Arthur and wife Judy of Union Grove, Chris and wife Alicia of Longview, daughters Charlene Wilson and husband Jim of Longview, Sheila Friend and husband Mark of Gladewater, stepchildren Gary and Charlotte Duty of White Oak, Kenneth and Cindy Duty of Longview, and Carol and Herb Griffith of Kilgore. Richard loved his combined family of 16 grandchildren, 41 great-grandchildren, and 3 great-great-grandchildren from both marriages.
Richard lived the Gospel through service to his God, family, country, and neighbor. He is loved, cherished, and remembered by many, and will never be forgotten.
Visitation will be held on Monday, November 13, 2017 at Welch Funeral Home in Longview from 6:00 P.M. till 7:30 P.M. in the Garden Court. A Catholic Rosary will follow at 7:30 P.M. in the Welch Funeral Home Chapel.
A funeral mass will be held on Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 10:00 A.M. at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Longview with Father Mark Dunn officiating.
Interment will follow at Memory Park Cemetery in Longview with the Patriot Guard Riders providing a motorcycle escort and Patrick O’Connor, Mark Friend, Jim Wilson, Paul Duesterhoft, Liam Wilson and Zeke Wilson serving as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be Future Elam and Jay Ramo.
Military honors will be provided by the United States Army and VFW Post 4002 of Longview.
Online condolences maybe left at welchfuneral.com