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In Memoriam: Robert J. O’Connor

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Your memorial contribution in Bob’s name will be placed in the Fox River Valley Community Scholarship Fund.

Friend of the Foundation, former board member, and long-time scholarship champion Robert J. O’Connor passed away on September 15, 2022.

From the obituary:

Robert James O’Connor (Bob), 78, of Aurora, Illinois, passed away at home on September 15, 2022.

He was born on August 30, 1944, in Aurora. He was a graduate of East Aurora High School, the University of Illinois, and the University of Notre Dame Law School.

Bob had a long career in Aurora as an attorney handling real estate and estate planning, but the work that brought him the most enjoyment was his time spent as an Alderman-at-Large for the City of Aurora. Winning his first election in 1985, he went on to be elected eight more times and served the city proudly for nine terms spanning 36 years. He was a member of the Finance Committee for the entirety of his council career, serving as chairman for 32 of those years. In October of 2016, he was sworn in for a six-month term as the Mayor of Aurora, and was, as noted by his granddaughter, Avery, “in charge of the whole city of Aurora, except for Grandma.” In addition to his work as an attorney and council member, Bob was an active and engaged board member of the Northeastern Illinois Area Agency on Aging and the Illinois Council on Aging; additionally, he volunteered at the Dominican Literacy Center for their citizenship classes and served on the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley. He was active in the Exchange Club of Aurora as a member, past President, and Treasurer. He was also a member of the Administrative Board for Phillips Park and Splash Country Aquatic Centers, the Aurora Public Library Board of Directors, and the Aurora Police Foundation Board of Directors.

He is survived by his wife of nearly 52 years, Mary (Eberly) O’Connor; sons, Thomas (Teresa Waldinger) O’Connor of North Aurora, Illinois, John (Jill) O’Connor of Conroe, Texas, and his grandchildren Avery & Beckett (Tom & Teresa) and Mady & Kate (John & Jill). Additionally, he is survived by his sisters-in-law, Barbara O’Connor and Janet Bradshaw, brother-in-law, David Bradshaw, four nieces, one nephew, and several cousins.

He was preceded in death by his brother, Francis (Frank) Edward O’Connor, and his parents, Charles and Georgiana (Mies) O’Connor.

Bob was a historian, a self-proclaimed Abraham Lincoln junior scholar, a voracious reader, a long-standing and share-holding supporter of the Green Bay Packers, and a pragmatic decision-maker who treated all with the respect they deserved.

A visitation will be held on Sunday, October 16, 2022, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Healy Chapel, 332 W. Downer Pl., Aurora, Illinois 60506.  Funeral and interment services will be private.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Bob’s honor to the Dominican Literacy Center in Aurora, Illinois, the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley, or to an organization of the donor’s choice.

…you can always start small, even $25 can make a difference. Remember we can’t take our money with us. Even if it’s just your gift of time. Volunteer and get involved.

Cris Anderson

Cristina & Thomas S. Anderson Endowment Fund | Tom & Cris Anderson Colonial Advisory Fund

Thank you very much for supporting my college education for these four years. I will never be able to repay you for the opportunity that this scholarship has given to me.

Julia H.

[Renewing Scholarship Recipient] Graduate of Hinkley-Big Rock High School

A community foundation is a donor-driven organization that helps donors custom-design funds that reflect their charitable interests. Through the years, grants from these funds have made a significant impact on our local communities.

Sharon Stredde

President Emeritus

As a first-generation college student from a low-income family, I was worried about how I was going to pay for books and supplies. This scholarship will allow me to focus more on my studies instead of worrying about how to afford college. I am working to not only create opportunities for myself but to motivate future generations. Thank you so much for helping me along this journey!

Moises J.

Claude & Alice Allen Memorial Scholarship Recipient

We chose the Community Foundation because of its reputation. It’s well known, established and we can trust them to do the job for us.

Dick Schindel

Richard and Susan Schindel Scholarship Funds

There’s no question in my mind that the scholarship I received opened up possibilities.

Marianne Renner

Past Scholarship Recipient & Current Leadership Coach

Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley

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