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Obituary: Penelope J. O'Connor

Sat, Dec 2nd 2023 07:00 am

Penelope J. O’Connor, age 73, formerly of Grand Island, passed away on Oct. 23, 2023, from complications of leukemia. She was the beloved wife and soulmate of the late Page Stephens; dear sister of Edward (Rose) and William (Pamela) O’Connor; and a loving niece, aunt, cousin, and friend of many.

Born Sept. 25, 1950, in Ithaca, to the late C. Donald and E. Kay (nee Laisy) O’Connor, Penelope graduated valedictorian in 1968 from Grand Island High School. She worked during the late 1960s for the Island Dispatch.

She then attended and graduated with the distinction of cum laude from Baldwin-Wallace College, majoring in physics and French. Penelope studied in France and Germany, and attended the University of Montreal Library School where she studied in French and earned a master’s degree in library science.

Penelope worked in the science department of the Cleveland Public Library system and spent her entire career promoting science, fighting superstition and ignorance. She was an active union member and served as president of her district. She was active in politics, canvasing door-to-door in poor health and inclement weather for the Democratic Party in Ohio. She was an avid birder and former president of the Cleveland chapter of the Audubon Society.

She was kind generous, and loved by everyone who knew her. 

Her remains were cremated according to her wishes. Her ashes are buried in West Park Cemetery, 3942 Ridge Road, Cleveland, Ohio – with the ashes of her husband, Page Stephens, and her mother, E. Kay Laisy O’Connor.

There will be a celebration of life from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 4, 2024, in the Solon Community Center, 35000 Portz Parkway, Solon, Ohio. If you plan to attend, RSVP by calling William O’Connor at 716-773-7621 or Edward O’Connor at 716-876-6972.

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