Kevin James O’Connor of Rathdrum, ID. passed away peacefully on Thursday April 12, 2018 and is now in his heavenly home. He is preceded in death by his wife Donna O’Connor, his parents Robert M. and Jacqueline A. O’Connor, and brother Michael R. O’Connor. He is survived by his siblings Shelley A. O’Connor, Valerie L. O’Connor, Scott W. O’Connor, Brett D. O’Connor and Erin C. Nevers; his sisters-in-law Louise O’Connor and Glenda O’Connor; brothers-in-law Douglas Gallagher and Gordon Nevers and his late wife Donna’s sons Daniel Morabito and Todd Morabito.
Kevin was born in Madison, Wisconsin on December 27, 1953. He loved wrestling in the yard with Brister, the first of many family dogs and enjoyed playing other outdoor games with siblings being especially fond of football, baseball, bicycling and ice skating. By his freshman year at Sun Prairie High School, Sun Prairie, WI., Kevin had mastered the sport of wrestling where he qualified for the Varsity Wrestling Team. With a family move to Bettendorf Iowa, Kevin graduated from Bettendorf High School in 1971. He attended Iowa State University his freshman year in college and later returned to school at the University of Idaho, Moscow where he graduated with a B.S. degree in Horticulture in 1982.
During his college years in Idaho, Kevin met and fell in love with the love of his life, Donna Morabito whom he married in December 1982. After Kev graduated they moved to Madison, WI., where Kevin took a position in Quality Assurance at Oscar Mayer Foods Corp. Later, he accepted a promotion as Production Supervisor for a subsidiary company of Oscar Mayer in Olympia WA. There he and Donna renewed their love of fishing and hunting and traveling throughout the Northwest. When the Olympia operation closed, they decided to hit the open road, driving long haul trucks throughout the country for a few years before accepting a Production Supervisory position with Hillshire Farms in Appleton, WI. Their continued love of the Northwest however ultimately drew them to Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho where Kevin returned to school at the North Idaho Technical College to ‘retool’ his skills completing an Associate Degree in HVAC Technology. He then accepted a position with Market Equipment Co. in Spokane WA. where he remained until retirement.
Throughout his years living in the Northwest and Wisconsin along with many visits to his grandparent’s farm in Indiana, Kevin developed a keen admiration and love of wildlife particularly waterfowl. Hence, he pursued woodworking and painting where he developed significant skill in creating life sized replicas of a wide variety of ducks. He soon became an accomplished artisan completing dozens of works under the name of “Kevin’s Woods” many of which were placed in galleries in the Northwest during the 1990’s.
Kevin will be greatly missed by those who knew him, loved him, laughed with him, and shared some special times celebrating his life.
A memorial gathering, and luncheon will be held in Kevin’s honor on May 12, 2018 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm in the home of Shelley O’Connor at 6405 W. Trestle Dr. Unit #1, Rathdrum, ID. We invite anyone who would like to pay their respects to join us there on the 12th.