Beverly O'Connor

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Beverly LilliAnn (Lysen) O'Connor, 80, former Great Falls resident, died of encephalitis Thursday, Feb. 7, in St. Louis.

Visitation is 10 a.m. Friday at Christ United Methodist/First Congregational United Church of Christ in Great Falls, with an 11 a.m. funeral service. A luncheon at the church will follow the service, followed by burial in the Cascade Cemetery. Schnider Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

Known to most as "Bunny," she was born in Starbuck, Minn., on Aug. 9, 1932. She was a graduate of Washburn High School near Minneapolis and worked as an occupational therapist after graduating from the University of Minnesota. She and Dr. John Edward O'Connor married on Jan. 31, 1956. While they began their married life in California, they also lived in the following communities as Dr. O'Connor's medical career developed and their family grew to include three sons: Omaha, Neb.; Oakland, Calif.; Iowa City, Iowa; Missoula, and Ann Arbor, Mich. The family finally settled in Great Falls in 1974. In 1995, Bunny and John moved to Cascade. John preceded Bunny in death in November of 2002. Bunny eventually moved back to Great Falls, where she resided in her home until February of 2011, when an illness required her transition to a skilled nursing facility. She had been residing in the St. Louis area since August of 2011.

Always a loving and devoted mother and grandmother, Bunny is survived by her three sons' families, Daniel O'Connor of Great Falls, with children Christine, Kevin and Sarah, and their mother, Elizabeth O'Connor; John David "Swen" and Debbie O'Connor of Fenton, Mo., with children John Thomas, Mary and Natalie; and William and Melody O'Connor of Dakota Dunes, S.D., with children John Paul, Anya and Cooper. Surviving siblings include a brother, Doug Lysen of Minneapolis; two sisters, Helen McCrocklin of San Jose, Calif., and Irene Ranten of Burlington, Wash.; and a sister-in-law, Carol Dikeman of Denver.

Bunny was very active in the community and was a member of Christ United Methodist Church in Great Falls. She always offered her warm smile to each person she met, generously giving her love and help to others in need. No matter where she was, people fell in love with her. She will be missed by all who knew her.

Condolences may be posted online at

Published in Great Falls Tribune on Feb. 13, 2013
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