Eileen O’Connor (94) passed away peacefully on Wednesday October 9th, 2019 with family members by her side.
She was born Eileen Vachon to Julia Loretta (O’Donnell) and Adelard Vachon on April 2nd, 1925 in Holyoke Massachusetts.
Eileen grew up in Holyoke with her siblings Jack, Loretta and Robert (Bob). Eileen was the second to youngest. She attended neighborhood schools in Holyoke and graduated from Holyoke High School. In her early twenties she studied to become a medical laboratory technician in Boston. Soon after graduation she was employed at Noble Hospital in Westfield Massachusetts.
She met her husband Charles O’Connor after he returned from service in WWII. Following their 1947 marriage they settled in Westfield where they raised their five children. While Charles was busy growing a successful lumber business, Eileen was the primary homemaker to her husband and children, she was the heart of daily family life. During their 23 years living in Westfield Eileen was active in the Westfield Women’s Club and a frequent volunteer at Noble Hospital.
In the early 1970’s the family moved to a farm in Southampton, where they spent the next 28 years.
Charles and Eileen hosted many gatherings at their home in Southampton, from large family holiday parties to summertime pool parties. Eileen loved having friends and family gather in her home, where she enjoyed cooking and entertaining. Many fond memories were made for her grandchildren in Southampton, where Eileen (Nonnie to her grandchildren) was at the heart of these family gatherings. In the early 1990’s they built a home in Worthington where they were active members in the Worthington Golf Club. Their Worthington home, like the home in Southampton became a focal point of holidays and celebrations.
For 30 years they spent winters in St Croix in the Virgin Islands enjoying golf and tennis with their many friends from the Reef Community. Charles and Eileen enjoyed traveling and visited many countries in Europe and Asia over the years. Charles introduced Eileen to skiing, which became a family passion with ski vacations to Vermont, Colorado and Idaho. Eileen was an avid reader, enjoying both fiction and non-fiction. She was interested in politics and many lively conversations occurred around the family dinner table.
Their final home together was at the Lathrop Community in Easthampton, where they enjoyed a quiet few years.
Eileen was predeceased by her husband Charles, who passed away in 2014.
She is also predeceased by her brother Jack Vachon and his wife Marguerite; and her sister Loretta Burke and her husband John Burke.
She leaves her five children; Lawrence O’Connor and his wife Barbara Turner Delisle of Hatfield; Michael O’Connor of Northampton; Ellen O’Connor of Raleigh, North Carolina; Timothy O’Connor and his wife Annie of Southampton; and Anne O’Connor and her husband Glendon Chamberlin of New Marlborough. In addition, she leaves 10 grandchildren; 2 step grandchildren; and 6 great grandchildren. She also leaves her brother Robert (Bob) Vachon and his wife Pauline, and many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank the caregivers at Linda Manor in Leeds Massachusetts for their kind and attentive care over the last four years.
There will be a celebration for family and friends to honor Eileen’s life at the Hotel Northampton 36 King Street Northampton, Massachusetts on Sunday, October 20th from 3-6pm in the Northampton Room.
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