BURLINGTON: Kathleen R. (Howrigan) Connor passed away peacefully on December 22nd at The Converse Home after living with Alzheimer’s disease for close to ten years.
She was born in Fletcher, in 1931, the daughter of Margaret A. (McCarthy) Howrigan and William E. Howrigan. She graduated from St. Mary’s High School and Trinity College, majoring in chemistry. Her first teaching position was at Winooski High School.
Kathleen married Fred J. Connor, Jr. of Auburn, Massachusetts on August 13, 1955, at St. Patrick’s Church in Fairfield. They settled in Auburn where they raised their six children. Kathleen was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She was very active in supporting her children’s activities through their school years and beyond. Kathleen was a cheerful, loving, caring and faithful person with a deep respect for education and a keen love for holidays and family gatherings. In Auburn, she taught Junior High school math and science for 25 years. Kathleen and Fred were married for 41 years until Fred’s death on November 7, 1996.
In 1997, she moved to Burlington to be closer to her children and their families. She had the energy of someone half her age. She kept a very full calendar of events including grandchildren’s sporting events, plays, graduations, and birthdays. She enjoyed playing golf and taking a daily walk in her neighborhood. She had fond memories of working on the family dairy farm and maple sugaring operation in her youth and enjoyed regular visits to Fairfield. She enjoyed traveling with family and friends to Ireland, Florida, and the coast of Maine. She was a daily communicant at St. Mark’s Parish where she served as a Eucharistic Minister.
Kathleen is survived by her six children and their spouses, 24 grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren: Kathleen (Connor) and her husband Terence “Tex” Lynch (Michael, Grace, Maura and her husband David Dabney, Patrick, Brennan, Will, and Eamon); Fred III and his wife Ellen Connor (Julie and Tom); Stephen and his wife Janet Connor (Chris and his wife Emilie and their children Theo and Isla; Steve and his wife Jamie and their children Tilly and Georgia; Sarah, Brenna, and Tien); Michael and his wife Joanne Connor (Sean, Ryan, Mark, and Meghan); Clare (Connor) and her husband Lawrence Rowley (Connor and his wife Meghann and their son Patrick; Brendan, Mary, and Kate); John and his wife Patricia Connor (Matthew and his wife Kristen, and Erin).
She is survived by her sisters Loretta and her husband Henry Magnan, and Teresa and her husband John Manahan, sister-in-law Virginia Howrigan, and brother-in-law Robert Smith as well as many nieces, nephews, and their families.
In addition to her parents and husband, she was predeceased by brothers, Bernard who died in infancy, Sgt. Raymond “Pat” USMC, who was killed in action on Iwo Jima, Francis and his wife Neva, W. Robert, Harold and his wife Anne, and Thomas G. Howrigan, MD. She was also predeceased by sisters, Mary Connor and her husband Bernard, and Rose O’Connell and her husband Emmett.
Kathleen’s family wishes to express their sincere appreciation for the loving care provided by the dedicated staff of The Converse Home for the past four years. Following her transition to life at The Converse Home, Kathleen expressed daily appreciation for every kindness extended to her by her heroic caregivers. It was fortunate that she was able to graciously handle her Alzheimer’s disease with a positive, appreciative attitude. Her family’s lives are richer for having gotten to know her caregivers, fellow residents, and their families.
A private Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the convenience of the family.
In lieu of flowers, those who wish to make a contribution are asked to consider a donation made payable to: The Converse Home, Attention: Business Office, 272 Church Street, Burlington, VT 05401 (Check memo: Mary Wright Staff Development Fund). This fund is used for continuing education for The Converse Home staff.
Assisting the Connor family is the Heald Funeral Home, Celebrating lives since 1918, where messages of condolence or sharing of memories are welcome at www.healdfuneralhome.com.