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O’CONNOR, Robert (Bob) Howard

September 9, 1924 – Red Deer, Alberta
December 25, 2013 – Calgary, Alberta

Robert (Bob) O’Connor of Calgary, AB, passed away peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday, December 25, 2013 at the age of 89 years.

Bob was born in Red Deer, Alberta on September 9, 1924. He graduated from Red Deer High School and enlisted in the RCAF during WWII. He was a navigator in Mosquitos, Squadron 627. He served proudly as a Pathfinder. After the war he continued his education at the University of Alberta and graduated with a degree in Geology. He worked as a geologist in the Alberta Oil patch all his professional life but his true love was in hard rock. He was involved in several gold mining properties around the world. Throughout his life the memories of the Mosquito and Pathfinders were always on his mind. He devoted much of his time to The Aircrew Association of Alberta, The Calgary Aerospace Museum, The Military Museum and The Mosquito Restoration Society. He helped restore several world class examples of military aircraft. He was also devoted to his church, St. John the Evangelist, and loved his Wednesday lunches with the clergy and parishioners at the Pearl Dragon.

Bob is survived by his first wife Gerry O’Connor, his children Patrick and wife Barbara, Michael and his wife Sandy, Maureen and husband Murray Ord and Kathleen and her partner P.J. Carlisle; as well as his grandchildren Katie and Ali, Sean and Erin, Robyn and Sarah; his step daughters Leanne and Lisa; his nieces and nephews; and the rest of his family and friends.

Funeral Services will be held at St. John the Evangelist (1423 – 8 Avenue S.E.) on Wednesday, January 15, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. with reception to follow.  Celebration of Life will also be held at Mewata Armoury Officer’s Mess (801-11th Street S.W. Calgary) at 1:30pm. Condolences may be forwarded through

In living memory of Bob O’Connor, a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park Cochrane by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 CENTRE STREET NORTH, Telephone: 403-276-2296.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Leanne Suitor (Last) :


    Sorry of hear of your Father’s passing. My thoughts are with you all at this difficult time.


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  2. Hey Gang:
    Sorry to here about Uncle Bob, made Christmas somewhat sad. I will miss him dearly, the last of the O’Connor clan of that generation. My prayers are with you all.

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  3. Joan O'Connor :

    While so sad to hear that Bob is gone, I am glad he passed so peacefuly. It is at tea like this we reflect on the individual.

    I remember so well his visit to the coast to see a Mosquito that was being restored in Richmond. His arrival was a total surprise and I had to quickly prepared a guest room and plan meals! But I do not regret one minutebut the time he spent with me was precious. I will never forget it.

    It took a few hours and a lot of “hanger hopping” to find anyone who knew of the restoration of the plane. It was looking like a hopeless task and I worried we would not be successful but we finally found someone who knew where to find the plane.

    I was truly touched by Bob’s reception by people he had never met before. People stepped up to Bob and shook his hand, thanking him for his service. When we arrived at the actual hanger where the Mosquito was being restored, volunteers and workers stopped what they were doing and joined us as Bob took us all on a narrative tour of the plane and of his wartime memories. I learned so much about Bob that day and am so thankful to have had this little experience with him.

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  4. Bob and Bernice McKenna :

    Our deepest sympathy on the passing of your father, Bob. We have known him and you for many years now and missed him at the last few Sun Oil lunches and often wondered where he was. We have some great memories of our times with him as we sure you have too.
    Bob and Bernice McKenna

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  5. John & Mary Morris :

    To Pat, Mike, Maureen & Kathy..
    ‘Tis- truly the end,
    as long as we had our Uncle Bob, we had a part of our Dad as well – we will miss those sparkling Irish eyes, the sweet smile, and the warm hugs.
    Wish we could be there, to give all of you a hug..
    You’re in our thoughts and prayers.
    God Bless,
    Love Mary & Johnny

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  6. Sean Dunnigan & Jen Gardiner :

    Mike, Sandy, Maureen and all the O’Connor family, we want to extend our sincere condolences on the passing of wonderful Bob. He made us laugh a lot and brightened any room he was in. St Paddy’s Day at the Shamrock will be lessened by his physical absence . But we know he will be there in spirit to our toast to him. To Bob!

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  7. To the O’Connor family:
    It is with great sadness that I learned of Bob’s passing. I got to know Bob through some of his many friends and comrades at the RCAF Aircrew Association and his faithful efforts to keep Calgary’s precious Mosquito here at home in Alberta. Bob was a gentleman of the highest order and I regret not having had more opportunity to get to know him better. I just learned we shared a common interest in oil patch geology as well as preservation of our country’s historic WWII aircraft.

    As a young man, barely beyond his teens, Bob flew perilous night-time Pathfinder missions as a Mosquito navigator to numerous flak-ridden targets in the heart of Germany. Like so many of his comrades that have gone before him, he left us with his quiet legacy of selfless service and dedication to his country. Bob’s smiling disposition and dedication to preserve our Mosquito will be sorely missed in the Calgary aviation community.

    God speed on your flight west old friend, we will miss you. Tim Wall

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  8. I will miss your smiling face at the Mosquito Society’s meetings.
    Every time you were there reminded me of why we are restoring
    The “Mossie”.
    I’m so glad for the opportunity to have known you and feel lucky to have done so.
    My condolences to the family.
    Vanna Lees (member of the Calgary Mosquito Society)

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  9. Honourable Nick Taylor :

    Sorry I am so late in putting forward a good word for Bob. He was a great guy, somewhat shy and the family must feel a great loss . I will miss him too, primarily as another geologist as we were both suckers for a gold play anywhere in the world.
    He may finally have found one ahead of me
    God Bless
    Nick Taylor

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