Born in Indianapolis, Indiana to Raymond J. O’Connor and Margaret Bohan O’Connor.
Vinnie passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on August 18th. He was the husband of Mary Lee Campagna O’Connor for 53 years, father of Mary Beth Sheridan (Matthew) and David O’Connor (Lisa) and grandfather of Charlotte and Andrew Sheridan.
Vinnie grew up in Milford, Connecticut with his brothers Raymond and Thomas. He is survived by Raymond O’Connor (Connie), nieces and nephews and his much loved extended family, the Campagnas.
Vinnie graduated from Fairfield Prep and attended college at St. Mary’s University in Baltimore. After college he taught English and coached basketball until he moved into his career of more than 30 years as a regional sales manager in the emergency and architectural lighting industry.
His time in Baltimore led to his passion for working with at risk families. Vinnie strongly believed in giving back to the community. He felt to whom much is given much is expected. He practiced this throughout his life as a volunteer with St. Vincent de Paul, Hospice and the Knights of Columbus.
In 2019 Vinnie was honored with the Knights of Columbus Family Award, “…who has served as an inspiration to our parish, community and council by supporting and strengthening Christian Family Life.” He was also instrumental in the establishment of New Connections, a community resource to facilitate inmates assimilation into the community
As much time as Vinnie spent in community outreach, volunteerism and social activism, he made time for activities he loved which began with family and friends. He enjoyed fishing, celebrating Taco Tuesday on Wednesday and harvesting clams and oysters off favorite beaches. Vinnie had a green thumb and raised beautiful dahlias and organic vegetables. He enjoyed watching and debating all sports and had an encyclopedic knowledge which was evidenced by his ability to discuss people, statistics and the backstory.
Vinnie had a love for all things Irish. His interest in Irish history and culture began at an early age when his parents and grandparents shared their stories. He was not only a St. Patrick’s Day Irishman but an Irishman all year. As an original member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians in Weymouth, Massachusetts, Vinnie was well versed in Irish politics.
Vinnie’s greatest pleasure was being Santa Claus. As Santa, Vinnie brought the spirit of Christmas to countless children and adults. He appeared at hundreds of events. Vinnie enjoyed 8+ years at the Kent Station’s Santa House. His role as Santa was not seasonal as he was recognized by his signature red cap, wardrobe and white beard. Vinnie was a proud member of the Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas, Norpac Santas and earned a BSC & MSC from the international University of Santa Claus.
A celebration of Vinnie’s life will be held on November 5, 2021 at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 327 Second Avenue, Kent, Washington 98032. The Knights of Columbus will lead the Rosary at noon followed by a funeral Mass at 1pm.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul at Holy Spirit Church, 310 3rd Avenue South, Kent, Washington 98032, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.