Obituary: Mr R. J. O’Connor

Richard O'Connor

Richard O'Connor

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Mr Richard John O’Connor (Rick), of Barrowby Gate, Grantham, has died. He was 55.

Mr Richard John O’Connor (Rick), of Barrowby Gate, Grantham, has died. He was 55.

Mr O’Connor was born in Grantham, the son of Jean O’Connor and the late Jack O’Connor. He was brother to Mike Levan (deceased), Kevin Young, and Chris O’Connor and Teresa O’Connor.

He was a member of Witham Wheelers cycling club until the age of 15, winning numerous trophies and breaking several time trial records.

In 1973 he met his future wife, Gail, and they were married in June 1978. They had two children, John and Zoe.

Mr O’Connor was a popular local DJ in the 1970s and ‘80s, starting off with Sounds Around, before branching out on his own, taking his mobile disco to many local venues and further afield, often supporting popular bands of the time such as Hot Chocolate.

In the mid-1970s he, along with other local music enthusiasts, started Grantham Hospital Radio broadcasting service for patients, where they would broadcast patients’ requests from a tiny room on the hospital roof.

At the age of 36 he achieved a BTEC 2 with distinction, and a BTEC 3 in Micro Electronics. With this knowledge he began to build control units for disco lighting effects, rather than going ‘out on the road’ himself. He was also a nightclub doorman for a while and co-managed a local nightclub for a brief time, before dabbling with local radio at Gravity FM for a few years. He also had a love of American cars, once owning a Ford Mustang Mach 1.

He trained with Ron Kettle as a welder after leaving school, before going into plastering, then on to A. Eatch and Sons as a general builder. In 1997 he began work at Reads/American Can as a quality control inspector. In 1986 Mr O’Connor started his own building firm, RJ Building Services.

In 1992 his career changed direction completely, when he joined St Hugh’s School, Grantham, as a technician. This role soon evolved and he became the first school site manager in Lincolnshire, the model for which has now spread across the county. He moved around various Lincolnshire schools as site manager over a 12-year period, before being recruited as a facilities advisor by HBS, providing advice and support to Lincolnshire schools, a job he really enjoyed and excelled at.

During his time at St Hugh’s School he was part of a team who annually set the Schools Technology Challenge. In 2011 he set up his own facilities management company, Phoenix, with the help of some former colleagues, providing support services for many schools across the county.

Mr O’Connor was a popular, generous and thoughtful, multi-talented man, always giving of his time and talents whenever he could, and whenever anyone asked.

The funeral service was held at St Anne’s Church, Harrowby Road, Grantham, conducted by the Rev David Shenton. Burial followed in Grantham cemetery.

Family mourners included: Gail O’Connor, John O’Connor, Zoe O’Connor, Jean O’Connor, Chris O’Connor, Kevin Young, Mr W. E. Tilley, Nick and Sara Tilley, Clive Tilley and Shirley Levon.

Other mourners included: Mick and Teresa Johnson, Kelly Johnson, Emma Jones, Simon Meadows, Jennie Marshall, Vicky Seal, Simon Davidson, Matt Ainsworth-Morris, Mr and Mrs J. Dawson, Raymond Tilley, Megan Akitt, Jane Clack, Robert Toole, Toni Toole, John Doyle, Geoff Houghton, Linda Houghton, Julie Laverick, Gary Bowers, Rachael Duffey, Michael Lee, Amanda Ryans, Katy Ordish, James Pritchard, Rose Levon, John Levon, Jane Everton (Barkston and Syston School), Alex Cooper, Bob Jackson, Nick Stevens, Dave and Natalie Heap, Pete Stewart, Kieran and Shay Heap, Kim Barnett, David Foster, Malcolm Baxter, Jane Stivens (Belmont School), Fay Tilley, David Garner, Annette Tudor, Mr and Mrs Renshaw, Martin Wardle, Nathan Barker, Glen Hickling, Nicki O’Neal, Carolyn Pearsey, Linda Wing, Alan and Lynda Lowen, Adam Hawley, Dennis and Liz Reddish, Simone Barham, Tricia Lowrey, Keith and Libby Simpson, Paul Martin, David Crewe, Martin Docherty, Alan Collick, Carol Clarke, Maria Dixon, Helen Little, Hubert Tilley, Tim Atkin (Skegness Infant Academy), Andrew Graves (Priory Academies Group), Martin Undrill, Andrew Madge, Rachel Picksley, Rebecca Curtis, Sarah Carr, Helen Seal, Ivan Roberts, Julie Laverick, Linda Morton, Linda Kent, Diane Watson, Becky Bird, Christine Wightman, Lucille Green, Lesley Rann, Ray and Bev Dove, David Jones, Duncan Beddows, Beverly Sams, Emma Taylor, Trevor and Maggie Cooper, Paul Atkinson, Carrie Osborne (Branston Community Academy), David Hallam, Terry Shelbourne, Alex Beato, Jennifer Close, and John Grimble.

Funeral arrangements were by Robert Holland, St Catherine’s Road, Grantham.

Donations for LIVES and the British Heart Foundation amount to £368.84 to date.