Joseph Benedict O’Connor, III

February 9, 1947 - April 30, 2022
Joseph Benedict O’Connor, III


Joseph B. O’Connor, age 75, passed away on Saturday, April 30, 2022. He was born on February 9, 1947, in Linz Austria, to the late Joseph B. O’Connor Jr. and Irmtraut O’Connor.

Joseph is survived by his wife of 48 years, Nancy O’Connor; children Angela O’Connor, Joseph B. O’Connor IV, Catherine O’Connor Hudson, Eileen O’Connor, and Christopher O’Connor; grandchildren Timothy, Summer, Harper, and RJ; and great grandchild Oakliee. He is also survived by his siblings Eileen O’Connor, Roderick O’Connor, and Loren O’Connor.

Joe loved his family with all he was. In 1972, Joe met the love of his life, Nancy Beaty. They married in 1973 and started a family shortly after. He was stubborn, funny, silly, and loving. The memories he created with his family will be cherished forever.

Joe loved the water, working as a fisherman, clammer, and tugboat captain throughout his life. He found peace in the ocean and had salt in his veins. After serving 3 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, at 20 years old, Joe settled in Carolina Beach becoming best friends with Doug Batson and working with him on the Cheerio Lady for the next 10 years. He then struck out as his own boss on the Feel Free dragging his mates beyond their comfort zone and bringing the best catch back to the docks. He was one of the few strong enough to tong the south end for clams using the extra money to provide for his family. Eventually, Joe ended up on dredge projects earning the experience on larger vessels. He then became a tugboat captain, traveling up and down the east coast where he spent the remainder of his career.

There will be a Memorial Service for Joe on Thursday, May 5, 2022 at Seaside Chapel starting at 3:00pm.

Please leave memories and condolences for Joe’s family by clicking the “Post a Condolence” tab below.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation – Wilmington Chapel – 1535 S. 41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403 910.791.9099


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  • May 08, 2022
    Cordy Hieronymus says:
    Joe and I shared many fond memories. From those times I grew to admire and respect so much about Joe. A unique guy I must say who I appreciated greatly. Joe left an honorable wake behind him through life. God Bless and be with those close to him........