TRAVERSE CITY — Patricia Ann O’Connor, M.D., was born March 5, 1929, in Detroit and died after a brief illness on Feb. 27, 2013. She was the daughter of Leo F. and Dorothy M. (Jennings) O’Connor.
She is survived by one brother, Michael and his wife, Diane, of Ellsworth, Kan.; and several cousins, in particular, Charles Jennings and his wife, Geraldine, of Traverse City.
Patricia was raised in Detroit, South Bend, Ind., and Kansas City, Mo. In Kansas City she attended St. Peter’s Parochial Grade School and Bishop Hogan Catholic High School. Her first two years of college were at Kansas City University (now University of Missouri at KC). She transferred to the University of Michigan, from where she graduated with honors in math. She then entered the U of M Medical School, graduating in 1953. She did her medical residency in pediatrics at the U of M Hospital and concurrently earned a master’s degree in public health.
Patricia’s medical career included several years at the Arkansas Public Health Department. In 1963 she returned to the U of M Medical School, Department of Pediatrics and rose to the rank of associate professor with practice mostly in outpatient pediatrics. In 1988 she received the Kaiser Permanente Clinical Award for Excellence in Teaching. She was well liked and respected by her colleagues and was the physician for many of their children. Upon retirement from the U of M, she worked part time in a pediatric practice in Chelsea while residing at Silver Maples Retirement Apartments.
Patricia never married and in May 2006 moved to Cedar Creek Senior Apartments in Traverse City to be near the Jennings family, with whom she had a very close relationship. They were with her through her final illness. Patricia was active in the social events at Cedar Creek and was a member of Immaculate Conception Parish in Traverse City.
It was her wish to be cremated and that there be no funeral service. Her cremains will be buried in Ellsworth, Kan., next to her brother and his wife’s plot.
The family of Patricia wishes to extend their most sincere gratitude and appreciation to the staff at Bay Ridge Assisted Living and Hospice of Michigan for the loving care and support shown to Patricia in her final days.