Cover photo for Michael O'Connor's Obituary
1947 Michael 2024

Michael O'Connor

March 9, 1947 — February 17, 2024

Niles, Michigan


Michael Thomas O’Connor, age 76 years of Niles, Michigan; husband, brother, Notre Dame fan, and honorable veteran died peacefully, but unexpectedly on Saturday, February 17, 2024 with his wife at his side in their home.  His family is grateful for the efforts of the 911 dispatcher and the first responders.

He was born on March 9, 1947 in Niles to Robert A. and Shirley J. (Cox) O’Connor, and was graduated from Niles High School.  He enlisted in the United States Army, and became a skilled aircraft electronics repairman.  He served much of his tour in-country in Vietnam, earning the Viet Nam Campaign Medal for his extended period of service there.  He also served in Europe for a year, was promoted to Specialist 5, and was Honorably Discharged to the Army Reserve.  He was employed at the National-Standard Corporation in Niles for 41 years, retiring in 2010.  He has lived in Niles all of his life.

Michael enjoyed traveling, having visited the Grand Canyon, California, and Nevada out west, and visiting relatives on the east coast in New Jersey.  When younger, he golfed at Hampshire Country Club near Dowagiac, and Plym Park in Niles.  He was a great fan of the University of Notre Dame football team and the Chicago Bears, being faithful to wear appropriate game day attire while watching from home, and he had season tickets to Notre Dame Men’s Basketball.  At home he loved the animals, both the dogs and cats in the house, and the wildlife that he fed in the yard.  He had a great passion for taking care of the yard, maintaining a wonderful rose garden, displays of flowers in special locations around the house and yard, and meticulous lawn care.

He had been a committed bachelor for decades until, on April 8, 2003 at the Chapel of the Flowers in Las Vegas, Nevada he married the former Patricia Ann (Chaney) VanIterson.   Patricia has many memories of the changes needed in Michael’s home – and mind – to accommodate a wife in his house.   They celebrated last year twenty years of successful marriage. 

Surviving family includes his wife, Patricia O’Connor; Michael’s siblings, Kathleen (& William) Groote of Branson, Missouri, Richard (& Valerie) O’Connor of Gillette, Wyoming, and Paul (& Shirley Larson) O’Connor of Dowagiac, Michigan; and several nieces and nephews.

The funeral service for Michael O'Connor will be at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 27, 2024 at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles with Deacon Roger Gregorski of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish in Niles officiating.  Committal will follow at Mission Hills.  The ceremony will be available online on the Halbritter-Wickens Facebook page at

The family will receive relatives and friends on Tuesday, at the funeral home, beginning at Noon.  Contributions in memory of Michael may be made toward a memorial park bench at the Niles Riverfront Veterans Memorial.  Online condolences and memories may be left at:

Michael enjoyed life, traveling, cheering-on his teams, feeding the animals, and keeping his yard beautiful.  But more important was the people in his life, especially Patricia.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Michael O'Connor, please visit our flower store.


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