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Patricia M. O'Connor(1942 - 2013)

August 15, 1942 - August 28, 2013
Patricia M. O'Connor (age 71) died August 28, in the arms of those who loved her. Born in Belmont, Mass., She was the daughter of the late Martin and late Catherine Flynn O'Connor. She moved to Santa Monica, CA at age 10, spending all of her life until 2004 in the area. She lived in Olympia Fields, IL until her death after a 13-year battle with ALS.

Pat lived a storied life. Although of modest means she excelled at tennis, ranked 16th as a junior, playing Billie Jean King (her contemporary) and occasionally beating her. Her frequent tennis companion was Doris Day (yes, that Doris Day), among other tennis enthusiasts.

Her original career was at a subsidiary of the Rand Corporation, now Unisys. There she held a government security clearance, and was privy to intelligence at the very inception of the Viet Nam conflict, when it was still French Indochina. From this experience she developed a love for technology systems and applied her experience in all the rest of the careers she held.

Eventually Pat studied Nursing at UCLA, achieving a Masters in Pediatric Nursing. Pat had the highest level of professional nursing standards, but she also brought a child-like sensitivity to her patients and their families.

While at UCLA Pat also worked as liaison between nursing and construction/projects - ensuring that patients came first as UCLA constantly updated its medical facilities. Pat finished her career in nursing as a director of nursing, directing Liver Transplant, IV and Vascular Surgery units. She was beloved by all who worked with her.

Pat loved skiing, mountain camping in the Sierras with her friends "The Pearls", and was an accomplished mosaicist, having had her works displayed on HGTV, as well as in juried art shows.

Pat also devoted herself to the League of Women Voters, and enthusiastically supported a number of political activities and campaigns.

Pat is survived by her sister Maureen of Charlotte, NC. She is also survived by Beth and Rich Bongard, her devoted Chicago family. She was godmother to Ashley Brown, and loved her dearly.

As Pat wished, her interment will be private, and a spirited party will be had to celebrate her magnificent life.

Donations may be directed to the Les Turner ALS Foundation, 5550 W. Touhy, Skokie, IL 60077. Or to Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times, 1250 Lyman Place, Los Angeles, CA 90029.

Published in the Los Angeles Times on Sept. 1, 2013
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