A family burial service for Daniel W. O’Connor, age 88 of Canton, NY will be held privately at Foxwood Memorial Park, with a memorial service being held at St. Lawrence University at a later date.
Besides his beloved wife Carolyn, Dan is survived by his son Daniel III, his daughter Kathlyn and five grandchildren.
Dan was born in Jersey City, NJ on March 17, 1925. After several years the family moved to Scarsdale, NY and later to Brooklyn, NY. After attending Erasmus Hall High School he was chosen by the USN to study at Dartmouth College in 1943. While at Dartmouth he was active in the Dartmouth Glee Club and the Dartmouth Christian Union, majoring in English with a minor in Ancient Greek.
After graduation in November 1945, he was mustered out of the Navy, taught English for two years at Long Island University, after which he served for five years as Pastor of the Paramus Congregational Church in Paramus, NJ. In 1955 he returned to earn a Master’s degree and Ph.D. at Columbia University, New York.
In 1959 he was offered a position at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York where he taught in the Department of Religious Studies and Classical Languages, as it was known then, for thirty years until his retirement in 1989. He became Charles A. Dana Professor of Religious Studies and Department Chairman.
For many years, Dan escorted a number of graduates to the Middle East for an archeological seminar each January. In his years at St. Lawrence University he served in 1967-68 as Associate Dean of the University.
From 1964 until the present he has been a loyal member of the Rotary Club of Canton, serving as Club President in 1973-74, and in 1989-90 he was appointed as the District Governor of Rotary International, District 704 (comprising Western Quebec, Eastern Ontario and Northern New York). At that time 400 plus governors were chosen to lead Rotary the world over.
For many years he was a member of the U.S. Power Squadron and the National Association of Watch Collectors. From 1971 to 2009, he offered lectures on various subjects at the YMCA at Silver Bay, NY.
After his retirement in 1990, Dan lectured to a number of Elderhostels all over the East, often five to seven week-long series, on such subjects as:The Dead Sea Scrolls, comparative religions, Normative Islam, Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism and the history of time from Aristotle to Einstein? He also taught the Dead Sea Scrolls at SOAR for several years.
In addition to clocks and watches, his hobby was bird carving. Over the years, he carved approximately seventy birds, one of which received a second place at the New York State Fair in Syracuse, NY.
Contributions may be given to St. Lawrence University, 23 Ramoda Dr., Canton, NY 13617 for the Daniel O’Connor Memorial Fund, to help a 3rd or 4th year student who has expressed a firm interest in having a Major in Religious Studies, and/or to Hospice and Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley, 6805 SH 11, Potsdam, NY 13676.
Online condolences can also be made at www.foxandmurrayfuneralhome.com.
Wednesday, August 20, 2014, Watertown, NY
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