Timothy O'Connor

Obituary of Timothy F. O'Connor

Timothy (Tim) F. O'Connor of Big Flats, NY, peacefully went to be with the Lord, surrounded by his loving family, on March 18, 2021 at the age of 73. He was courageous in establishing a life of service to others from his youngest years to the very end using his sense of humor, his creativity, and his ability to make something great out of almost nothing. He improved every situation he encountered including religious and community groups, work organizations, and even family gatherings. Tim is survived by his devoted wife of 50 years, Louise Bankowski O'Connor (January 2, 1971), and 3 loving children, Brian O'Connor of Big Flats, NY, Colin O'Connor (with Sarah Wisler O'Connor) of Rockledge, FL, and daughter, Kathleen Taunton-Rigby (with Jason) of Wayland, MA and 3 grandchildren: Kai, Emalie and Quinn. Tim was born in Niagara Falls, NY on March 9, 1948, to Lloyd and Anne O'Connor. He felt blessed to enjoy the love and companionship of 4 brothers: Patrick of The Villages, FL, Kevin (with Beverly) of Eldersburg, MD, Danny (with Patricia) of Severna Park, MD, and Sean (with Doreen) of Lewiston, NY. He also enjoyed a special bond with brothers and sisters-in-law: John Bankowski, Jr. of Niagara Falls, NY, Jim Bankowski (with Carol Ann) of Ft. Meyers, FL, Patricia Bankowski Wissman (with Daniel) of Pittsford, NY and Dorothy Ducatte-Wozniak (with Paul) of Niagara Falls, NY. Tim had a special love for his nephews and nieces: Meredith Wissel (John), Ryan O'Connor (Lori), Meghan O'Connor, Paige Mello (Nick), Ashleigh O'Connor, Cassie Mirvis (Adam), Molly O'Connor, Brandon O'Connor, Justin O'Connor, Jennifer Wissman Martella (Dave), Anne Marie Wissman, Jonathan Bankowski (Brandi), Andrea Bankowski, and Sam Bankowski. Education was important to Tim. He attended Bishop Duffy High School in Niagara Falls, NY, received his bachelor's degree from Niagara University in Lewiston, NY (1970) and was awarded an MBA in health care management from SUNY Buffalo (1979). Tim began his service in the US Army in 1971 at Fort Hood, TX in the medical service corps. He was one of the first soldiers trained as a Battalion Surgeon Assistant at Ft. Sam Houston, TX in 1972 which is now known as a "physician assistant." He served in Korea as the registrar for the 121st Evac Hospital (1974) and he used his knowledge and organizational skills to help establish an EMT program for civilians in Manassas, VA while being at his final duty station, at Vint Hill Farms Station (1976). He was the recipient of a National Defense Service Medal and an Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal because of his service and achieved the rank of Captain. Tim loved to coach and a memorable moment in Korea was coaching in what most would think was a reenactment of a scene from the movie, M-A-S-H. The 121st Evac Hospital of Yongsan won the 8th US Army Flag Football Championship against the 2nd Medical Battalion of Camp Casey. Tim used his MBA and his military healthcare administration experience in many work settings. He was a Marketing Executive for Health Care Plan, an HMO in Buffalo, NY; the Director of Nursing Administration, Lake County Memorial Hospitals in Painesville, OH; Healthcare Recruiting Specialist and Lead Consultant at Witt Associates, Oakbrook, IL; and Vice President for Ancillary Services, Arnot Ogden Medical Center, Elmira, NY. Finally, in August of 1988, Tim became the President/CEO of Bethany Village, Horseheads NY, a multi-corporate Continuing Care Retirement Community with a skilled nursing facility, assisted living apartments, independent low-income apartments, and townhomes. While there, Tim increased the capacity of the Skilled Nursing Facility, developed 3 community outreach programs, created a unique retail outlet for the benefit of family caregivers in the local mall, and created the organization's first strategic plan enhancing cash flow by over $1 million. One of the crowning achievements of his tenure at Bethany Village was to fully develop and open a new, state-of-the-art, senior living complex called Appleridge. Tim's expertise and knowledge were sought out and appreciated by many. For example, he testified at the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee, Health Care Sub Committee at the invitation of US Representative Amo Houghton. He made many presentations including the National Conference of the American Nursing Informatics Association, the Life Services Network of the Illinois Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, and the New York State Association of Homes and Services for the Aging. He was published in Nursing Homes Magazine January 2004, QP Magazine - American Society for Quality (ASQ) March 2009, among others. He was also a certified facilitator for the Steven Covey Leadership Institute. Tim's respect for the value of hard work was evident even in retirement as he did many stretches of work, for example, as a business analyst for the Veteran's Administration in Albany, NY, as a tour bus driver and guide for Niagara Majestic, Niagara Falls, NY and as a substitute teacher for the Corning Painted Post School District. Volunteering was a major part of Tim's life. He was a member of St. Mary Our Mother Parish in Horseheads, NY serving as a religious education teacher for middle school students and as chairman of the Parish Council. He served the Horseheads School District on Athletic and Educational Committees. Tim supported The Boy Scouts of America as leader at various levels and finally as the Troop Committee Chairman. He coached many youth sports including soccer, softball and baseball teams and served as President, Big Flats Little League. In retirement, Tim, as he often said, "went to the dark side" and was certified by the NYSHSA as a Baseball Umpire. The family wishes to thank our CareFirst Team, Hospice, for their support and guidance as Tim moved peacefully to eternal life. After Tim's diagnosis, Dr. Navarrete, and Jimmie Young of the Falck Cancer Center in collaboration with UR Medicine's Wilmot Cancer Institute used their expertise, support, and loving care allowing our beloved Tim and the family to enjoy an entire year creating special moments and memories. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate memorial donations directed to any of the following: Falck Cancer Center c/o Arnot Foundation, 571 East Market St. Suite 102, Elmira NY 14901 St. Mary Our Mother Church 816 W Broad St. Horseheads, NY 14845 Care First/Hospice 3805 Meads Creek Rd, Painted Post, NY 14870 Tim gave the ultimate gift of himself to the University of Buffalo so that others could benefit from his life and death. A Memorial Mass with Military Honors for Tim will be held, Saturday April 10th 11:00AM at Divine Mercry Parish, 2437 Niagara Street, Niagara Falls, NY 14303, with Reverend Jacek Mazur officiating. Arrangements are being handled by the ZAJAC FUNERAL HOME INC.
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Saturday
10
April

Memorial Mass

11:00 am
Saturday, April 10, 2021
Divine Mercy Parish
2437 Niagara Street
Niagara Falls, New York, United States
Saturday
10
April

Celebratory Gathering & Luncheon

12:15 pm
Saturday, April 10, 2021
Double Tree
401 Buffalo Avenue
Niagara Falls, New York, United States
After the APRIL 10th 11AM MASS at DIVINE MERCY PARISH, NIAGARA FALLS,NY. A Luncheon will Follow at 12:15 PM at the DoubleTree Niagara Falls, NY RSVP for the Luncheon & Celebratory Gathering by clicking on the RSVP link on left of tribute.