Jarlath Thomas O'Connor
November 21, 1935 - March 29, 2021
Jarlath "J.T." O'Connor died peacefully at home in Tiburon, California on March 29, 2021, of natural causes, surrounded by his devoted family.
A towering pillar of the Irish community of San Francisco for many decades, Jarlath was born into a large family in rural Milltown, County Galway, Ireland and attended St. Jarlath's College in Tuam, County Galway. He worked with, and for his brother at Tony's grocery business in Tuam, but like so many other young people of Ireland in the 20th Century, including his brothers Michael and James, both priests, he was drawn to immigrate to America.
Jarlath arrived in California in 1958 where he was welcomed by his brother Fr. Michael O'Connor and found a new home in San Francisco, where he met his wife Iris (Edgeworth) of Ballyconnell, County Cavan. He was drafted into the US Army, stationed briefly in Germany, and served in the San Francisco Police Department for eight years. Along with Iris, he purchased Harrington Brothers Moving and Storage in 1968 and later expanded the business to buy and sell used furniture and antiques. They soon moved Harrington Brothers to the building at Valencia and 17th Streets that houses the family business today. He was a fixture on Valencia Street for over fifty years and helped countless young immigrants from Ireland and elsewhere to find their footing in San Francisco without ever losing their connection to the homes they had left behind.
He returned to Ireland innumerable times and instilled a great love of the country in his children and grandchildren. He worked tirelessly in support of the Irish community in San Francisco, with particular focus on the United Irish Cultural Center, the Irish Immigration Pastoral Center, the Irish priests and nuns of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, and the San Francisco GAA.
Jarlath was the living embodiment of the Irish American dream. He was a singer, a storyteller, and the hardest working man you ever met. He shared his good fortune with people all over Ireland and the Bay Area. There won't be another one like him.
Jarlath is preceded in death by his wife Iris, his son Stephen, his father and mother Anthony and Mary, sisters Eileen, Kathleen, and Julia, brothers Patrick, Michael, James, Tony, and Sean. He is survived by his daughter Fiona, his sons Michael and Shane, grandchildren Micaela, Aoife, Pilar, Claire, Iris, Declan, and Evelyn, and his sister Theresa
Friends and family may visit on Wednesday, April 7th between 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm at DUGGAN'S FUNERAL SERVICE – THE DUGGAN WELCH FAMILY 3434 – 17th Street in San Francisco with the Rosary at 6:00 pm; and are also invited to attend the Mass of Christian Burial on Thursday, April 8th, 10:30 am at St Philip's Church, Diamond and Elizabeth Streets in San Francisco. Interment is to take place in Ireland at a later date. In lieu of flowers donations in his memory may be sent to the United Irish Cultural Center (https://irishcentersf.org
) or The Irish Immigration Pastoral Center (https://m.facebook.com/IIPCSF/
), and are preferred.