Jack Francis O'Connor January 08, 1920 - June 24, 2012 Left this world to go run things up above after passing peacefully in his sleep from natural causes in his native and cherished city of San Francisco. He was preceded in death by his father, Jeremiah O'Connor; mother, Madeline Simon; brothers, Cornelius "Connie" O'Connor and James "Jimmy" O'Connor; ex-wife Sandy Moore; and survived by his sons, Kevin O'Connor and Craig O'Connor; his beloved granddaughter, Averie O'Connor; Averie's mother, Vivian Huynh; his daughter-in-law, Lori O'Connor; his dedicated partner, Sharon Smith; his ex-wives: Marilyn Janes, Maxine Heiliger, and Marie Keenan; and his loyal dog, Max. "Jackie O" was born and raised in San Francisco, CA as a second generation Irishman and spent his youth giving his older brothers a run for their money when he earned wages as a determined paperboy. After graduating from Commerce High School in 1938, his participation in the California Conservation Corps proved to be the kindling that would spark his eventual foray into the Navy (1942-1945), during which he served as an aviation machinist and gunner aboard B-24 Liberators during the Pacific Campaign. Following his discharge and with the help of his father, he opened up the famed Pop's bar on 24th and York- an instant SF institution that allowed him to foster both his innate man of the hour persona and his enduring affinity for fun. He also guest bartended at 12 Adler and Hungry Eye during San Francisco's illustrious jazz heyday. Jack's marriage to his first wife, Sandy Moore, gifted him with their son, Craig O'Connor. Around this time, he sold his flagship bar and acquired and subsequently reinvented The New Hearth, another immediate success where local celebs and future politicians would flock to for high balls and high times. Though his inception marriage ended, it opened the door for wife number two, Marilyn Janes (nee Schomacker) to whom he was married from 1959-1973. Together, they birthed their first and only son in 1961, Kevin O'Connor. Realizing that his duties as a family man needed to be met, he sold The New Hearth and began a career in the real estate business in which he worked his way up to becoming a top producer at Hill & Co and the R. Lea Ward Company. He eventually branched off as an independent broker and developed and continued to excel. His third marriage to Maxine Heiliger spanned the mid-to-late 70's and the 80's found him locked in love with Marie Keenan, his fourth and final wife. Jack became an ardent traveler, splitting much of his time between California and his jewel of a property in Maui when he wasn't amassing frequent flier miles abroad. He also found great joy in spending time with his sons, lunching with friends, putting on the green and simple things like Miles Davis, Irish lore, and Vanessi's Prawns Agrodolce. Though their relationship didn't result in nuptials, he found his last and undeniably most patient partner in Sharon Smith towards the final years of his life. In 2009, Jack bade farewell to his inexpungible hometown and relocated to the city of Hollister to be closer to Shari. In the various leads Jack took on as friend, father, laborer, husband, comrade, and raconteur, it was obvious his role as a grandfather personified him most. He had waited 88 long years before being granted the title and Averie simply stole the show when it came to the great loves of Jack's life. Being "popo" propelled Jack into the happiest of his days and allowed him to die feeling his life was complete, trusting his family legacy would carry on. Jackie O leaves behind stories, friends, memories, and loves not mentioned due to insufficient space in this section, but for those who would like to honor his memory and celebrate his life, please join us at the McAvoy-O'Hara funeral home on July 19th, 2012 at 4pm with a wake to follow at none other then The Hearth at 4701 Geary Blvd (12th Ave/Geary).
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Published in San Francisco Chronicle from July 8 to July 15, 2012