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Neida W. O'Connor

Obituary for Neida W. O'Connor

September 8, 1925 - February 14, 2018
San Antonio, Texas | Age 92


Neida W. O'Connor was born September 8, 1925 to Roy Johnathan and Murtha Wilson Wright in Wichita Falls, Texas. For the first 25 years of her life, Neida carried the name Johnnie Oneida Wright, which remains a term of endearment for her and reflects her Cherokee Indian heritage. Parents Roy and Murtha endured the hardship of five still born births and Neida was their last and only surviving child. Neida overcame many health issues in her very early life due to the love and diligent care of her parents, who always found a way to enjoy everything they did together, even amidst difficult and challenging circumstances working in the East Texas Oil Fields. While paralyzed and bed ridden, Neida discovered her natural artistic abilities and was encouraged by her parents. Her drawing and painting was therapeutic during this period and she continued to love art throughout her life and became especially accomplished in portrait work. The Wright family moved to Corpus Christi, Texas for sake of Neida's health and there she progressed with her recovery and even became a strong swimmer, avid horseback rider and dancer. Being an only child and often living in different places, Neida became very close to the family pets, especially two Boston Bull Terriers, named "Pee Wee" and "Tuffee", who were very special members of the Wright family. Her love for animals continued throughout her life as she raised, cared for and rescued a variety of small and large breed animals. Employment opportunities at Kelly Field moved the Wright family to San Antonio in 1940 where Neida attended Brackenridge High School and was a member of the marching band and graduated May 28th, 1943. While in high school, she had her first job at the Handy Andy Bakery but also delivered newspapers and worked other small jobs to help her family. Neida continued her education and graduated from San Antonio College. She also completed various vocational programs including Dale Carnegie Business School, where she developed clerical skills, typing, shorthand and public speaking. During WWII, Neida applied for one of the very first openings at Fort Sam Houston which was parking cars at the base. Soon after, she began her formal career working as a secretary and later became a staffing specialist in the civilian personnel division at Brooke Army Medical Center. Neida lived with her parents and early life at Fort Sam included working nights and weekends, as a dance instructor at Arthur Murray Dance Studios, taking additional college classes, music lessons, and helping her parents renovate the family's first home. While working at Fort Sam Houston, she was encouraged by friends to enter a contest and became "Miss Brooke Army Medical Center May Queen - 1946", which came as a big surprise to her. The title also came with responsibilities and she represented Fort Sam at the Fiesta events and traveled conducting training seminars for personnel positions. During her career in civilian personnel, Neida became President of the San Antonio Women's Professional Organization and one of her first duties was to find a guest speaker for one of the group's meetings. She was introduced to a gentleman named Robert Burns O'Connor. As a young aspiring attorney, he accepted such speaking engagements and had a variety of "canned" speeches already prepared for Miss Wright to select. The event was a great success, and little did either of them know this would be the beginning of a beautiful love story that would last 50 years. Much later in life, Neida asked Robert "When did you fall in love with me?" Robert replied, "The night you introduced me as your guest speaker." Robert and Neida were married November 24, 1951 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in San Antonio, Texas. Neida supported her husband in all his endeavors and she was his "First Lady". God blessed them with children, their children's spouses, grandchildren and great grandchildren: Deneice Carroll O'Connor, Dona Michele O'Connor, Gary Keith O'Connor, Brian Keith O'Connor and wife Jana Lyn O'Connor; Patrick A. O'Connor and wife Patty Rae O'Connor; granddaughters: Deneice-Ashley O'Connor and her father Phouc Van Dang, Korie Laurin and husband Bryan Yzaguirre; Kaitlin Taylor and fiancé Daniel Tanke; great grandchildren: Paisley Lane and Charleigh Rose Yzaguirre.

The O'Connor's were active members at Trinity Episcopal Church. Robert and Neida served as Eucharistic Ministers, Lay Readers and taught Sunday School. For fun, Neida taught ball room dancing to the young and young at heart adults at the church. In years to come, they became members of St. George's Episcopal Church, in its beginning days, where they served in various capacities. As their family grew they attended St. Thomas Episcopal Church where they found a place for continued Christian education. And finally, God led them to St. Luke's Episcopal Church where their family became united as members in the early 1990's and has remained their church home. Neida served at St. Luke's as a Stephen Minister which was very meaningful to her. Neida shared her creative talents and gifts, with many people throughout her life, always teaching and expressing God's unconditional love and giving each one their very own place in her heart. Neida's generous nature and desire to help others was often demonstrated by her offering her home and whatever resources she had to those in need. Her life's work was her family as she served her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Neida loved to write and always wanted to express her appreciation to others.

These are her words to you.
"Grace and peace to you…and thanksgiving for the many years that God has given to me.
I wish to express my deep appreciation for the precious people that he has placed in my life!
I have been richly blessed through the relationships I have shared with each of you.
I can only hope that in some small way…I have been a blessing to you.
For it is God's will for his people to bless one another! I thank God for the wonderful life he has given to me and you yourselves are my true gifts and treasures. You have given my life meaningful substance and purpose. I thank my God every time I remember you. Philippians 1:3 Peace of Lord be with you always…Bless You!

One of Neida's favorite prayers which was recited many times at family gatherings:
"Bless Our Home"
"Father that we cherish the bread before there is none, discover each other before we leave, and enjoy each other for what we are while we have time".
"Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom". Psalm 90:12.

It seems appropriate to share one of Neida's last messages titled.
"My Last Words to Myself".
"Myself" "I have to live with Myself and so…
I want to be able as days go by, always to look at myself straight in the eye.
I don't want to stand with the setting sun and have regrets for anything I have said or done.
I want to go out knowing that in some small way I have helped those I love along the way."
Neida O'Connor.

Neida peacefully went to Heaven on Valentine's Day, February 14, 2018, a day to celebrate Love which was her message her entire life.
" …Love One Another." John 13:34

Neida will be missed but the way she lived her life and her undying spirit will always be an inspiration to her family, friends and all those she touched.

Neida was preceded in death by, her parents Roy J. and Murtha W. Wright, her son Gary Keith O'Connor, her husband Robert B. O'Connor and her daughter Dona Michele O'Connor. Neida is survived by daughter, Deneice Carroll O'Connor; son, Brian K. O'Connor and wife Jana, son Patrick A. O'Connor and wife Patty; granddaughters: Deneice-Ashley O'Connor and her father Phouc Van Dang, Korie and husband Bryan Yzaguirre; great grandchildren: Paisley Lane and Charleigh Rose Yzaguirre. Granddaughter Kaitlin Taylor and fiancé Daniel Tanke.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. on Monday, February 26, 2018 at Porter Loring Mortuary North. Funeral Service will be at 2:00 P.M. on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at St. Luke's Episcopal Church. The Rev. John D. Badders, Jr. will officiate. Interment will follow in Sunset Memorial Park.

Pallbearers will be Brian K. O'Connor, Patrick A. O'Connor, Dr. John E. Etlinger, John Neutzling, Ray McLeaird, Darrel McCall, Dr. Thomas J. Leas, Phouc Van Dang.

Honorary Pallbearers: Dr. Louis Mizell, Dr. John Abdo, George Wall, Lawson Flash, Darrell Wolle, Rick Gage, Mac Russell, Darryl Cowan, Chad Miller, Charles Reichert, Andrew Reichert, Richard T. Magott, Dr. Eric Kuhl.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Luke's Episcopal Church – Stephen Ministry Program or a charitable organization of your choice.

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Porter Loring Mortuary North

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San Antonio, TX 78232
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