Michael Mason O’Connor, age 70, of Easthampton, passed away on Thursday, October 24, 2019, at Baystate Medical Center in Springfield. He was born in Holyoke, son of the late Maurice F. and Dorothy V. (Cochran) O’Connor and was a graduate of Holyoke High School and Western New England College in Springfield. Michael was a longtime Financial Analyst, working for more than 30 years at Pratt and Whitney in East Hartford, CT, until his retirement in 2005. He is survived by his loving wife of 40 years, Donna M. (Allen) O’Connor; stepdaughter Mayor Nicole LaChapelle of Easthampton; stepson Christian LaChapelle and his partner Martha Leamy of Holyoke; sister Rosemary (O’Connor) Dugroo and her husband Eric Dugroo of Holyoke; sister, the late LaVonne “Bonnie” Dzialo of Holyoke; sister, the late Patricia (O’Connor) Sroka and her husband James Sroka of Chicopee; sister-in-law Lucille (Allen) Paladino and brother-in-law Fred Paladino of Milford, CT; his beloved grandchildren Sigrid von Wendel of New York City, Cameron LaChapelle of New York City, and Cade LaChapelle of Holyoke. Michael took special delight and pride in watching his nieces and nephews – Jennifer, Laura, Erica, Matt and Annie – grow up to be wonderful people and parents. Michael – also known as Opa or “The Great One” – had a great love of travel, fishing, and all Massachusetts sports teams. He was happiest on Cape Cod and in the Florida Keys, but found particular joy in the armchair at Christian’s bar, watching football with a bourbon in hand. We all wish you could have seen the glee on his face the moment his name appeared on the scoreboard at Fenway Park for his 70th birthday. Even after retirement, Michael delighted in negotiating car leases and other major purchases on behalf of anyone who would allow him to do so, striking impressive deals. We all listened to his advice with a keen ear knowing that he still had the first nickel he ever made. He was a rock to all who knew him, quick to support his friends and family. Michael would have been touched – and perhaps a little embarrassed – by all this fanfare, but he would have smiled seeing his grandson Cade’s soccer team honoring him at their senior game with wristbands bearing his nicknames. (And he really would have grinned at Cade’s goal during the game too.) A Prayer Service will be held on Friday, November 1, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. in the Barry J. Farrell Funeral Home, 2049 Northampton Street, Holyoke. Calling hours will be held prior to the service from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his memory to Dakin Humane Society (www.dakinhumane.org), 171 Union Street, Springfield, MA 01105 as Michael was always a champion of underdogs.
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