WEST BOYLSTON-Carlton J. O'Connor, (known to all as "Jake") age 96, died peacefully on Veterans Day, November 11, 2021, at The Overlook at Masonic Home in Charlton MA.
Jake was born in Hartford, Vermont on July 15, 1925, to Lorena (Coutermarsh) and James O'Connor. He and his twin sister, Catherine were the middle children of a family of four with older brother Jim and younger brother Donald.
He grew up on his family's farm in Hartford, Vermont. Jake was an all-around athlete, and played football, basketball, and baseball throughout his school days. He liked to share stories of his teams traveling throughout the state for competitions. After graduation from Hartford High School in 1943, he entered the Naval Air Corp and served as an aviation radioman until 1946.
Jake met Therese Ekstrom on a double date at Russell Sage College in New York, and their love story began. They were married on August 16, 1947 and moved to Vermont. He then continued his education and played football at Norwich University, receiving his BA in 1950. He began his teaching career in 1952 at Oxford High School while attaining his master's degree from Worcester State College. At Oxford he taught Social Studies and English, and coached cross country, basketball, and baseball. Jake received the Teacher of the Year Award at Oxford High School in 1957.
In 1957 he began teaching at West Boylston Jr-Sr High School where he continued coaching cross country and basketball and became the Director of Athletics.
Jake served as assistant principal from 1961-1975, and principal from 1975-1987. Over the years, he received numerous awards for his dedication to high school athletic programs and was awarded the Clark Chair for his contribution to the Clark Basketball Tournament. During his retirement years, Jake worked with the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association and received the MIAA Distinguished Service Award for his continued dedication to Massachusetts athletics.
Jake was predeceased by his parents, his brothers Donald and James, and his twin sister Catherine. His beloved wife of 63 years predeceased him in 2010.
He will be remembered for his love of family sportsmanship and dedication to the youth of the community of West Boylston as well as student athletes everywhere.
He leaves his children; Kathleen Parker and her husband Glenn of West Boylston, Kevin and wife Linda of Windham Maine, Carol Millett and husband Henry of Whitingham VT, Christine Ohristo and husband David of Charlton, and Ann O'Connor Bruhn and husband Carl of Carmel Indiana. He also leaves his ten cherished grandchildren Amy and Brian Parker, Kelsey and Corey O'Connor, James Millett, Matthew Bruhn, Sara Bruhn Hernandez, Jake Bruhn, Taryn Ohristo Barros, and Julia Jolly, as well as four treasured great grandchildren, Ashley and Gavin Parker, Lyra Vargas and Katelyn Oberg.
The O'Connor family wishes to thank the Masonic Home and Overlook Community and Hospice Services for their dedicated and compassionate care.
Visiting Hours are Monday, November 15, From 4 to 7pm at Fay Brothers Life Celebration Home, 1 West Boylston St. A Funeral Mass will be held Tuesday, November 16 at 11am in Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, 111 Worcester St. Burial will follow in Mt. Vernon Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the West Boylston Athletic Assoc., PO Box, 307, West Boylston, MA 01583.