Richard Barry O'Connor
Date of Birth
September 28, 1957
Date of Death
March 6, 2022
Place of Passing
Branch of Service
Years of service
Richard Barry O'Connor
ArmySeptember 28, 1957 - March 6, 2022
Richard B. O’Connor, II
U. S. Army
September 28, 1957 – March 6, 2022
Colonel (Ret.) Richard B. O’Connor, II, died unexpectedly on March 6, 2022 in Lakeland, Florida. Richard was raised in Needham, Massachusetts. Following his graduation from Needham High School in 1976, he enlisted in the U.S. Army as a helicopter crew chief. He was first assigned to the 4/7 Cavalry Regiment, 2d Infantry Division, in South Korea and then to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault). In the summer of 1979, he completed his active-duty enlistment, joined the Army National Guard, and used his G.I. bill benefits to attend Northeastern University, Boston, MA. He participated in the ROTC program and received a BBA in Business Administration.
He was commissioned as an Army Officer and honorably served more than 37 years. Rich served as the Senior Operations Officer, 16 Corps Support Group deployed to Macedonia and Kosovo. Professor of Military Science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA. Squadron Commander, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment. Deputy Chief of Staff, 4th Infantry Division. Division Director, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Coordination Cell, Office of the Joint Chief of Staff, Washington, DC. Brigade Commander, Bagram Afghanistan directing logistics operations across Afghanistan. Defense Coordinating Officer, USNORTHCOM.
Rich’s notable awards and decorations included the Aircraft Crewman Badge, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, and the Defense Meritorious Service Medal.
Rich was a graduate of the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA and the National Defense University, Eisenhower School, Washington DC.
Following retirement Rich served as an Adjunct Professor at Endicott College, Beverly MA, and the Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Bourne, MA.
In his leisure, Rich enjoyed fly fishing, camping, playing golf, and spending his summers on Drakes Island, Maine.
Colonel O’Connor is lovingly survived by his parents, Richard and Helen O’Connor, son, Ryan T. O’Connor and his daughter-in-law, Nina, and his fiancée, Betina Jennings. Four sisters, Christine Spear, Karen Rekola (Brett), Jeanne O’Connor and Helen O’Connor. Two nephews, Christopher Rekola (Kristin), Michael Rekola (Kaitlin) and one niece, Kasey Feola (Gianni). Great Uncle to Stevie, Scarlett, Emma, and Wyatt Rekola.
A Mass and burial will be at Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, D.C. on Friday, July 8th @12:45pm.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that in Colonel O’Connor’s name, donations may be made to Parker’s Platoon (Parkersplatoon.org).