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James Brooks O'Connor

January 12, 1938 July 16, 2018
James Brooks O'Connor
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Obituary for James Brooks O'Connor
James Brooks O’Connor is now at peace. On July 16, 2018, he was reunited with his beloved bride, Lawlee, as he passed from this world at the age of 80. After the death of his wife of 60 years less than two years ago, Jim suffered with heartbreak and ill health. He found some companionship by living with his brother, Jerry, who had also recently lost his wife. The devotion and assistance provided by Jerry during Jim’s last year of life was an incredible gift of love and of immeasurable help. We are comforted that our dad was able to spend his last days in peaceful surroundings. We will miss dad’s frequent texts sharing memories of our mother and the antics of the resident wild turkeys.
Jim was born in Phillipsburg, Montana on January 12, 1938, the son of Violet Ivy (“Irene” Brooks) O’Connor and James Powers O’Connor. His parents and two older half-siblings – Evelyn (Cody) and Robert (Cody) preceded him in death. He is survived by his brothers Francis (Frank), Jerome (Jerry) and Stephen (Steve). The family moved frequently, and Jim often referred to his childhood years as one of a family of “gypsies”, never settling anywhere for long. Eventually, the family moved to Seattle, where Jim met his true love, Lawlee Mitchell. They married young, and with determination and hard work, built a large family. Jim and Lawlee leave behind 8 children (listed with their spouses): Jim, Colleen Harris (Mike), Kate Follis (Ched), Brian (Tina), Eileen (Joe Hovsepian), Jon, Liane Mazzella (Kenny), and Kerry (Aaron Eddleman).
Jim was very proud of his grandchildren (listed here their children): Carissa O’Connor (Araya); Michael Harris (Michael, Jacob, Emma), Christopher Harris, Jeffrey Harris, Kenneth Harris (Aimee, Connor), Jonathan Harris, Timothy Harris, Bethany Harris; Maxx Follis (Sean), Ashleigh Sisneros (Hayden, Clarence, Ezra, Ophelia), Tyler Follis; Kristina O’Connor, Brian O’Connor; Andy O’Connor, Erin Green, Abby Jordan; Sara Mazzella, James Mazzella; and Aria Eddleman.
Jim studied chemical engineering at the University of Washington and was a pioneer in the printed circuit board industry. He was both intelligent and athletic, achieving success as a business leader and making lifelong friends through sports. Everything that he dedicated himself to, he did so with passion. He was a history buff, avid reader, amateur astronomer, and recently had meticulously traced his family lineage back to the early 10th century, leaving us with an historical legacy. From him, we inherit a love of learning, a competitive nature, and awe for the night sky.
We gaze into the brilliant night sky on a warm night, and because of our dad we know that it’s Mars that shines so incredibly, that it’s the Milky Way spilled across the heavens, that the moon is new, and that the faint cluster of stars pursued by Orion are the seven sisters of the Pleiades. The appreciation and love and enjoyment of the universe that unfolds tonight, we owe to dad. Gaze into the night and remember a great man.
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