Michael James Connor|
Michael James Connor, of Akron, Ohio and Vero Beach, Florida, passed away on July 12, 2014 after a short illness.
Mike was born on April 11, 1933 to James and Edith Connor and spent his early years in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. He attended St. Vincent High School in Akron where he met and fell in love with his future wife, Patricia Denholm. After high school, Mike attended Northwestern University, earning a journalism degree from the Medill School of Journalism. He was active at Northwestern in a variety of leadership roles, including serving as President of student government and the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. Mike attended Northwestern on a Naval ROTC scholarship and upon graduation was commissioned in the United States Marine Corps. He earned his pilot wings at Pensacola Naval Air Station, was stationed at the Marine Corps helicopter base in El Toro, California and flew helicopters for the Marines throughout his time serving our country.
After the Marine Corps, Mike returned to his home town of Akron and joined The Firestone Tire and Rubber Company. He spent the next 34 years at Firestone in the areas of advertising, marketing and public relations, eventually retiring as Vice President of Marketing Services. Throughout his career, Mike could be found at the race track, golf course and bowling alleys around our country promoting Firestone's active leadership role in sports marketing. He provided the face of Firestone wherever "rubber meets the road" to customers, employees, politicians, famous athletes and sports fans everywhere. Following his retirement from Firestone, Mike served as the Commissioner of the Professional Bowlers Association for five years.
Mike was also an active community leader in Akron. During his impressive career, he served as Chairman of the Akron Regional Development Board, President of the Akron Roundtable, President of the Board of Trustees of the Akron Golf Charities, and as a trustee for Akron City Hospital, the Akron Community Foundation, the Akron-Canton Regional Airport and the Sisler-McFawn Foundation. He was extremely active with professional golf in Akron having served as Chairman of the American Golf Classic and, for many years, as the liaison between the PGA tour and tournament golf at Firestone Country Club.
Mike was a wonderful, devoted, loving husband for over 59 years and enormously proud of his children and grandchildren. In addition to his wife, Patti; Mike leaves behind his three children, Christopher Connor of Hunting Valley, Ohio, Tricia Connor Selio Arnold of Hudson, Ohio, Colleen Connor Coyne of Hudson, Ohio, and their respective spouses, Sara Herminghausen Connor, Thomas Arnold and Kevin Coyne. His grandchildren, Daniel and Kevin Connor, Erin Connor Reif and her husband Nicholas Reif, John and Emily Selio, and Sean, Katie, and Timothy Coyne will miss their "Papa" very much.
Mike was preceded in death by his sisters and brother, Patricia Connor Anderson, Laura Connor and Joseph Connor.
Mike loved being on his boat, surrounded by water and family. Lake Mohawk in Malvern, Ohio was a favorite spot of his for over 40 years. After retirement, Mike and Patti wintered at their beautiful home on the water in Vero Beach, Florida.
Mike and Patti were charter members of Saint Hilary Catholic Church in Akron where he served as an usher for many years, and more recently worshiped during the winter months at Holy Cross Church in Vero Beach.
The family extends its heartfelt thanks and appreciation for the loving care provided by the nurses and caregivers at Summa Akron City Hospital and Laurel Lake Crown Center.
The family will receive guests at Hummel Funeral Home, 500 E. Exchange St. in Akron on Tuesday, July 15 between 2 and 4 p.m. and again between 6 and 8 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday, July 16 at Saint Hilary Catholic Church, 2750 W. Market St. in Fairlawn at 9:30 a.m. followed by interment at Holy Cross cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to Summa Akron City Hospital, 525 E. Market St., Akron, OH 44304.
Please visit www.hummelcares.com to share memories and condolences.
Published in Akron Beacon Journal from July 14 to July 15, 2014