Mary Jane (Burleigh) O'Connor, the daughter of a prominent family, died Monday, October 7, 2019 at the Alfond Center for Health in Augusta. She was 96. She was born in Augusta, ME the daughter of Donald Burleigh and Mary (Johnson) Burleigh. Both parents were New England champion bridge players.
Smart, kind and deviously funny, she celebrated her 95th birthday with more than 100 friends and family in the casino at Ocean Point.
She cheerfully wore her badge of honor, the Queen of Hearts, the nickname bestowed on her by her father, the novelist, Donald Q. Burleigh. Her grandfather was the owner and publisher of the Kennebec Journal. Her great-grandfather was elected Governor, U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator.
Her late husband, Thomas A. O'Connor, retired from the National Guard as a master sergeant and went on to serve 12 years on the Augusta City Council.
She spent almost all of her life in Augusta before moving to Granite Hill Estates, 100 yards over the line in Hallowell, in 2004.
She began her career at radio station WFAU as part of the support staff. She finished her career in service with the State of Maine.
In between, she raised five children and served in many capacities, including as secretary with the American Legion Auxiliary, a den mother for St. Mary's Cub Scout Pack 225 and countless committees.
She is predeceased by her parents and husband and her three sisters: Sally Pruett, Nancy Catlin and Judy Chase.
She is survived by her five children: Dr. Susan O'Connor of South Berwick, John J. O'Connor and his wife, Susan, of East Winthrop, Kevin P. O'Connor and his wife, Debra Dompkowski of Warwick, RI, Catherine Schroeder and her husband, Danny of Allen, NE, and Michael O'Connor and his wife, Susan, of Winthrop.
She said her grandchildren were the greatest joy of her life. They are: Jaime O’Connor and her husband, Rick Nadeau, of Auburn, Megan Phelan and her husband, Matthew, of Germantown, NY, Jessica Fredrickson and her husband, Zachary, of Papillon, NE, and Mark Schroeder and his wife, Nikaela, of Elkhorn, NE. Her adored great-grandchildren are: Connor and Dionis Phelan, Sean and Moira Nadeau and Maggie and Charlie Schroeder.
The family would like to express their heartfelt thanks to the staff at Granite Hill Estates for the wonderful care they have given to Mary for over 14 years.
Relatives and friends may visit from 2-4 and 6-8 PM on Monday, October 14th at Plummer Funeral Home, 16 Pleasant St., Augusta. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, October 15th at 10:30 AM at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, Western Ave., Augusta. Burial and committal prayers will follow in the new Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Mt. Vernon Rd., Augusta.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations in Mary’s memory be made to: Lithgow Library, 45 Winthrop St., Augusta, ME, 04330.