Jerome Francis Connor

January 28, 1927 - June 27, 2008
Jerome Francis Connor

Memorial Gifts & Donations

Jerome Francis (Jerry) Connor, 81, of Wilmington, N.C., died Friday, June 27, 2008 at New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Mr. Connor was born in Augusta, Maine, on January 28, 1927, the son of the late Harry Daniel Connor and Margaret Gahagan Connor. Shortly thereafter, the family moved to Lewiston, Maine, where Jerome grew up. As a youth, he enjoyed many athletic activities, including boxing, hockey, and football.

Mr. Connor left high school early at the age of 17 to serve his country during WWII. He served in the United States Maritime Service and sailed on the S.S. Duke Victory in the Pacific. After the war, he returned to Auburn, Maine, where he graduated from Edward Little High School in 1947.

Following high school, he attended Portland Junior College, to pursue a career in journalism. He went on to obtain a B.S. degree from Boston University’s School of Public Relations, where he graduated Cum Laude in 1954. While at Boston University he was named an Abbott Fellow, was elected to Kappa Tau Alpha National Honorary Journalism Fraternity, and was vice-president of Tau Delta Phi Fraternity. Mr. Connor served as a reporter for the Lewiston (Maine) Evening Journal, wrote feature stories for several Boston newspapers, and had articles published in a number of national magazines, including the Catholic Digest.

As a young man, he was very active politically. He served as the President of the Young Democrats of Lewiston. He was later appointed to the staff of Senator Frederick Payne (R) of Maine in Washington, D.C. Deciding to pursue a career in law, he took courses at George Washington and Georgetown Universities. He received a law degree from Georgetown University in 1959 and passed the Virginia Bar that same year.

He then went to work as an attorney for the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C. He moved to Winston-Salem, N.C. in 1965, where he continued to work for the N.L.R.B. until his retirement. Mr. Connor was very proud of the fact that, as an attorney working in the labor relations field, he devoted much of his career to defending the rights of working men and women.

In 1997, he moved from Winston-Salem to Wilmington, N.C. to be closer to his family. He was a devoted father and grandfather who loved to spend time with his family. He was affectionately known as “Pepaw” by his grandchildren and many others. His hobbies included travel, swimming, reading philosophy, and listening to jazz.

Surviving are his ex-wife and close friend Carolyn, son Michael and his wife Linda, two grandchildren Chelsea and Sean, all of Wilmington, a brother Harry L. Connor of Old Saybrook, CT, and numerous nieces and nephews. Remembered are his sister Margaret and brother Kenneth, who predeceased him.

A memorial service will be held at 4 PM Saturday, July 5, 2008 at 3915 Oleander Drive in Wilmington, followed by a reception for friends and family at the home of Mike and Linda Connor from 6 to 8 PM. Flowers and condolences may be sent to: Connor, 604 Macon Court, Wilmington, N.C. 28412.

Online condolences may be sent to

Wilmington Burial and Cremation Service, 1535 S 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403 910.791.9099

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  • July 01, 2008
    Penn Shore says:
    Mike and Linda, Beth and I are saddened to hear the news of Mr. Connor's passing. I hope that the memories of you being together as a family in Wilmington will help get you through the difficult days ahead. My condolences to Mrs. Connor. Take care, Penn

  • July 01, 2008
    Rebecca Smith Dixon says:
    Dear Mike and Family, I have known Jerry for many, many years. And always like and enjoyed his company. I think I met you once back in the late 60's or 70's. Jerry was always a gentlemen when he was around me and my children. I know you will all miss him very much, and although I haven't seen him in a very long time, I too will miss him. Please except my deepest sympathy and know you are all in my prayers. Becky

  • July 02, 2008
    Robert Ratliff Family says:
    Mike and Linda, I was so sad to hear of the passing of Uncle Jerry. I wish we could all be with you this weekend. Just know we love you and are thinking of you as you celebrate the life of my beloved Uncle Jerry.