The officers and members of the Cork Association in New York are celebrating the life and legacy of 73-year member Patricia Young O’Connor, who passed away peacefully at her home in Rockaway on March 21. She was 95 years old.
Patricia was born and raised in Dunmanway, County Cork, the eighth of 14 siblings born to John and Margaret (McSweeney) Young. She attended St. Mary’s N.S. and Maria Immaculata Secondary School. She continued her education at the American International College in Springfield, Massachusetts and Brooklyn College in New York.
Brought up in a fiercely competitive family, all the Youngs were very successful in their chosen fields of endeavor. Emphasis was placed on faith, culture, education and athletics. “Work hard, play hard and pray hard” was the order of the day.
They all excelled in sports and were active participants in the GAA. Jack Young’s proudest boast was, “Seven sons, seven daughters and seven All-Ireland medals.”
Patricia joined the Cork Ladies Auxiliary in 1950, chaired many committees and held several offices including president (1960-‘63). She served as a delegate to the United Irish Counties and to the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee.
She joined the Cork Association in 1983 after the ladies and men’s associations merged. She served as secretary of the first reunion banquet in Cork in 1984 and was recording secretary for 16 years. In 2005 the association honored her as a 50-year member; in 2007 she was honored as Cork Woman of the Year.
In 1953 Patricia married Denis O’Connor and they became the proud parents of Liam, Myra and Brendan. Sadly Denis died in 1973, Myra in 2001, and Liam in 2021. The Cork Association awards a high school scholarship each year in memory of Myra O’Connor.
After Denis’ death, Patricia opened a bookstore in Sheepshead Bay in 1978. In 1984 she started a new career with the Board of Education at Beach Channel High School and retired in 1997.
Patricia served as a lector and eucharistic minister at St. Camillus, was a member of the Rosary Society and of the Senior Seabreeze Club of St. Francis de Sales. She was selected as a deputy grand marshal in the Queens St. Patrick’s Day parade in Rockaway.
As well as being a proud Cork woman, Patricia was also a proud American citizen. She was a member of the Regular Democratic Club of the Rockaways and served as state committeewoman for the 23rd AD (Rockaway).
The Cork Association extends condolences to her son Brendan, daughters-in-law Mona and Bess, grandsons Michael and Denis and the large extended O’Connor and Young families. Patricia will be greatly missed by her many friends in the Cork Association.
Mass was celebrated at St. Camillus Church in Rockaway on Saturday, March 25. Patricia was interred at St. Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale.