1947 - 2023
Barbara O'Connor suddenly passed away late Thursday, October 19th at Vassar Hospital. Surrounded by family in her last moments, Barbara had had a constant stream of visitors.
Barbara was born in Poughkeepsie, New York on January 18, 1947 to J. Leslie and Winifred Hadden. Growing up in Wappingers Falls, where she spent most of her life, she had three younger sisters, Jeanne, Sheila, and Janet. Throughout her life, she had the good fortune of being extremely close to all of them. Anyone who knew Barbara knew that her greatest love was her son, Christopher. She was exceedingly proud of all he accomplished. Barbara attended St. Mary's School in Wappingers, Roy C. Ketcham High School class of '64, and SUNY Albany, class of '68.
Initially, upon graduation from Albany, Barbara taught both middle and high school levels in the Wappingers Central School District. Later, she worked for IBM for over twenty-five years where she employed her love of (and talent for) teaching to convey to many students a specific computer language. This teaching allowed her travel to such places as Moscow and Beijing. Luckily, many of these trips allowed Christopher to accompany her.
In retirement, Barbara continued to lead a vibrant, interesting life. In spite of an extremely active social life, she made regular trips to Orlando, Florida to visit both her Chrises: her son, Christopher O'Connor and Christopher Van Benschoten and their growing families. One of her biggest passions was her volunteer work with Roy C. Ketcham High School athletics. At Ketcham, she served both as a basketball scorekeeper and snack bar organizer for both basketball and baseball. Her role as "the booster club lady" kept her quite busy, and caused her to be known as "Aunt Barbara" to many of the Ketcham community. Even while she was hospitalized she was talking about how excited she was for the upcoming basketball season. Recognized for her unconditional service to the community, Barbara was acknowledged with the Dutchess County Basketball Coaches Service Award and the Thomas D. Macrini Special Service Award from the Wappingers School District.
Barbara's other passions included history, politics and sports where she was an enthusiastic supporter of the New York Mets and New York Giants. As the "mayor" of her apartment complex, she loved to read and spend time in the sun. Most of all, she loved her family, while making friends wherever she went. As the family matriarch she reveled in tradition and cherished close relationships with her sisters, nephews, and niece and their families. In 2018, Christopher married Erica, the love of his life. It was such a joyous moment in Barbara’s life to watch her family grow. Finally, in 2023, she became a grandmother to Alice, doting on her for the last seven months.
Barbara was predeceased by her parents, Les and Winnie Hadden, and a treasured family friend, Tony Ruffini. She is survived by her sisters, Jeanne (Ron) Paino, Sheila (Karl) Kilpatrick, and Janet (Duane) Van Deventer and her many nephews, niece and their families. Her beloved son, Christopher O'Connor (Erica) survives along with her granddaughter, Alice.
There will be visitation held on Wednesday, October 25th from 4pm to 8pm, and Thursday, October 26th from 2 pm to 6pm at the Delehanty Funeral home, 64 E. Main Street, Wappingers Falls, NY. A mass will be held at the Church of St. Mary in Wappingers Falls on Friday, October 27th at 10am.
IN LIEU OF FLOWERS
Donations may be made to the Barbara H O’Connor Boys Basketball Award GoFundMe. The award will provide financial support to a deserving student athlete. Fundraiser by Christopher OConnor : Barbara H O’Connor Boys Basketball Award (gofundme.com)
Wednesday, October 25
4:00 - 8:00 PM
Thursday, October 26
2:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Delehanty Funeral Home
64 East Main Street, Wappingers Falls, NY
Friday, October 27
St. Mary R.C. Church
11 Clinton Street, Wappingers Falls, NY