Cover photo for Charles P. "Chuck" O'Connor's Obituary
Charles P. "Chuck" O'Connor Profile Photo

Charles P. "Chuck" O'Connor

d. March 30, 2020

Of Alexandria, Virginia and Chatham, Massachusetts, passed away peacefully in Boston on March 30, 2020. The cause was complications from pancreatic cancer with which he waged a noble battle and for which he was treated at Dana Farber Cancer Institute with brilliance and great compassion by Dr. Robert J. Mayer and the staff for over three and one half years.

Born in Boston on September 29,1940, O'Connor was predeceased by many years by his family: parents Austin J. and Catherine Beatrice O'Connor; as well as his four siblings, Thomas D. O'Connor, Austin J. O'Connor Jr., M. Joyce O'Connor and Patricia O'Connor Childs. He graduated from The College of the Holy Cross in 1963 and from Boston College Law School in 1966.

He married Linda Hogan in 1965. They moved to Washington, D.C. where he worked for the National Labor Relations Board in 1967. He soon met William J. Curtin, who was building a labor law section at the law firm of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. O'Connor joined the firm as a corporate labor lawyer in 1968 and became a partner in 1971. The two became both partners and lifelong friends. After Curtin's passing in 1995, O'Connor went on to become a renowned labor lawyer and skilled negotiator representing numerous clients including, among others, Anheuser-Busch and Major League Baseball. He served as well in various management positions at Morgan Lewis.

His affiliation with Morgan Lewis lasted for over 45 years. True to the words "the gift you have been given, give as a gift", just as Bill Curtin had mentored him, he served as a mentor to many younger lawyers. In 2003, he retired from Morgan Lewis to accept a five year position as Vice President & General Counsel of Maersk, Inc., the U.S. subsidiary of A.P. Moeller-Maersk of Denmark, returning again to Morgan Lewis from 2009 to 2014. In his farewell message to the firm, he wrote how highly he valued not just his colleagues there and those corporations whom he represented, but also those on the other side over a lifetime of negotiating.

"I went to law school to be a labor lawyer, and as I look back my real labor education took place over the years at the collective bargaining table," he wrote. "In addition to each of my management leaders I know that brewers, construction workers, Teamsters, professional athletes, coal miners, longshoremen and government employees also contributed in equal measure to my education and career. I am grateful."

In pre and post-retirement years, Chuck and Linda spent time in both Alexandria and Chatham. He was a resident of the neighborhood of Belle Haven for 53 years. In earlier years, he could be found on the tennis courts at Belle Haven CC and later on the golf course. He devoted himself to two organizations- tutoring students for years at Washington Jesuit Academy, a school for boys from low-income communities in the DC metro area; and serving on the Board and,until his illness, as Chair of the Board of United Community Ministries of Alexandria. He was as well a familiar face at the Metropolitan Club of the City of Washington, where he served on the Board of Directors. Always an avid reader, in his newfound free time, he became truly
voracious and especially treasured a thoughtful discussion about books. And when in Boston for treatment, a lover of classical music, he loved going to Symphony Hall to hear the BSO.

In Chatham, he was most easily found chasing his golf ball around at Cape Cod National Golf Club and Eastward Ho! or breezily leafing through the newspaper on his front porch, ever ready for a lively chat about history, politics or the Red Sox.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Linda, and what friends have termed their "small nation": his beloved children, Jennifer Rooney (James), Amy Fitzpatrick (Robert), Austin O'Connor (Maureen) and Catherine Burke (Sean), along with 13 beloved grandchildren: Charles Harris, Alexa, and Connor Rooney; twins Linda and Jack Fitzpatrick; Caitlin, Patrick (Mac), Molly and Charles O'Connor; Lily, Caleb, Liam Charles and Maeve Burke; dozens of nieces and nephews and countless dear friends and his loyal and boon companion, Happi, his King Charles Cavalier.

When gatherings are once again considered safe, a memorial service will be scheduled at Holy Trinity Church in Washington, D.C. where Chuck and Linda have been members since 1968.

Until then, please remember him as a man who lived a full and generous life, well and truly guided by and lived in the best Jesuit tradition: A Man for Others.
In lieu of flowers, if you wish to make a gift in memory of Chuck, you are invited to make a gift to Dana Farber Cancer Institute. Please visit http:// to make a gift online or call Hillary Repucci at 617-632-6481.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Charles P. "Chuck" O'Connor, please visit our flower store.


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