Dr. James Lacy O'Conner
1942 - 2020
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Dr. James Lacy O'Conner passed away on November 15, 2020 at NHC Rehabilitation facility in North Augusta, SC, after a long fight with peripheral neuropathy complicated recently by brain lesions.

James was born in Vidalia, GA on May 22, 1942 to James Judson O'Conner of Vidalia, GA and the late Mabel Chandler O'Conner of Danielsville, GA. James grew up in the Danielsville, GA community and graduated from Madison County High School in 1960.

He then attended the University of Georgia where he obtained the BS degree (1964), THE MS degree (1967) and the PhD degree (1972) from the Division of Biological Sciences. He then moved to Augusta, GA where he joined the Department of Endocrinology, the School of Graduate Studies and the School of Medicine of the Medical College of Georgia. He was a Post-Doctoral Fellow and a National Institutes of Health Trainee. Over the years he was appointed as Research Associate, Assistant Research Professor, Assistant Professor and Associate Professor. During his tenure at the Medical College of Georgia he conducted research studying the regulation of the synthesis and secretion of reproduction protein hormones from the anterior pituitary gland as well as the role of neuropeptide degrading enzymes in the regulation of reproductive neuropeptide hormones secreted from the hypothalamus.

During his time at the Medical College of Georgia, he was a member of numerous institutional committees including the Faculty Senate, Graduate Coordinator for the Department of Endocrinology, Graduate Faculty Senate, Student Affairs Committee, Faculty Affairs Committee, Student Promotions Committee, and he served for 15 years on the Committee on Animal Use in Research and Education. His research was funded by the National Institutes of Health on several occasions. His work was published in numerous abstracts presented at scientific meetings and in papers published in scientific journals. He was a member of multiple scientific organizations including the Society of the Study of Reproduction, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physiological Society, the international Society of Neuroendocrinology, the Endocrine Society and the New York Academy of Science. Here viewed scientific manuscripts for numerous scientific journals including Biology of Reproduction Endocrinology, Journal of Neuroendocrinology, Journal of Experimental Zoology, Bio Techniques, the Endocrine Journal and the American Journal of Physiology. He served numerous times as a judge for the CSRA Science Fair. James retired from the Department of Physiology and Endocrinology at the Medical College in 2001 with 29+ years of service.

Left to cherish his memory, his wife of 45 years, Diane Ganyard O'Conner and precious daughter, Allison Mabel O'Conner, who will miss him greatly; and his beloved dog, Snoop.

A Graveside Service to Celebrate the Life of James will be 2 p.m., Friday, November 20, 2020, at the Evergreen Memorial Park with the Rev. Jean Watson officiating. Family will receive friends from 1:30 p.m. until time of the service at the cemetery.

Bernstein Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Athens Banner-Herald on Nov. 19, 2020.
01:30 - 02:00 PM
Evergreen Memorial Park
Graveside service
02:00 PM
Evergreen Memorial Park
Memories & Condolences
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7 entries
November 20, 2020
Aunt Diane and Allison,
We are keeping you in our prayers.
I remember Uncle Jim as a man very dedicated to his wife and daughter. He cared for his daughter immensely and with pride. I was Grateful to learn of Jim’s professional accomplishments and impressed by his broad contribution in the medical field. Rest In Peace
Jill G. Paterson
November 19, 2020
Diane and Allison, I am so sorry to learn of your loss. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Warmest Personal Regards,
Judy Redd Wheeler
Judy Redd Wheeler
November 18, 2020
Jim and I have known each other since we were doctoral students together in the Division of Biological Sciences at UGA in the late 60’s and early 70’s. We completed our degrees and graduated at the same time. During those years Jim’s wife Diane, who is my sister, was secretary to the Head of the Division of Biological Sciences. Jim’s mother, Mabel, was Administrative Assistant to the Dean of the Graduate School, a capacity in which she served admirably for many decades. She was a stickler for the rules and you were sure to get a quick phone call from her any time you failed to check a box, and there were many, in pursuit of your degree. Dare I mention that Jim loved cars. For decades he kept both his ’69 Mach II and Diane’s ‘68 Mustang in pristine condition side by side in a special garage built for that purpose in their backyard. A speck of dust never lasted long anywhere. To say the least he and I shared a few beers over the years. Jim was a private man who calmly went about a life of tremendous leadership and professional achievement. Rest in Peace Jim!
milton ganyard, jr
November 18, 2020
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milton ganyard
November 18, 2020
Diane, I am so sorry for your loss. Words are not enough. Please know I am praying for you and Allison for comfort. Love, Rossie
Rossie Tullis
November 18, 2020
James was a classmate of mine from grammar school thru high school. He was a very intelligent person with a quiet confidence about him. We all knew he was destined for something great and he did not disappoint. My condolence to the family and his friends. He will truly be missed.
James Seagraves
November 17, 2020
Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.
Bernstein Funeral Home
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