The Transylvania Times -

William Terrell "Terry" O'Conner


William Terry O’Connor, 66, of Marion, died Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014, at MUSC after an extended illness.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, at the Catholic Church of the Infant Jesus in Marion, N.C. Burial with full military honors will follow at Palmetto Memorial Gar-dens directed by Richardson Funeral Home.

The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Church Fellowship Hall.

He was born in Asheville, April 10, 1948. He traveled extensively growing up with parents employed by the Department of Defense. He graduated from William T. Sampson High School in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba in 1966.

After graduation from Clemson University with two years of ROTC, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. After completion of Engineer School, he joined the 2nd Marine Division where he deployed extensively until being transferred to Headquarters, Fleet Marine Forces Atlanta. In Decem-ber 1973, he transferred to the United States Marine Corps Reserve inactive duty.

On Feb. 20, 1975, he joined the South Carolina Army National Guard and was assigned as a tank platoon leader in Company A, Myrtle Beach, S.C., and was assigned to various successful positions of increasing responsibility, from engineer officer in the U.S.M.C., to M1A1 tank battalion commander in the South Carolina Army National Guard (SCARNG).

O’Connor advanced through every command and staff position as an Armor officer to lieutenant colonel and was his appointment as a personnel warrant officer in 1998. His career includes experience as a mobilization planner for the headquarters, state area command and, in his current capacity, as a military personnel technician in the Joint Force Headquarters.

As part of the Palmetto State Task Force, the Fort Riley Commander commended him for his outstanding support of the 218th HSB in the planning, preparation, and execution of their National Training Center Rotation in 2000. He was mobilized with Task Force 218 at Fort Jackson in support of Operation Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom, from 2003-2004.

Since 2005, he served in the SCARNG Family Program Office, where he helped develop and execute a new comprehensive reintegration program called “The Road Home.” This is the first such program for the SCARNG and one of the first in the United States Army. He served as the SCARNG’s “point man” in educating the families, service providers, community leaders, and public on the effects of combat operational stress and the reintegration needs of soldiers returning from combat.

He worked tirelessly to coordinate support, resour-ces, and commitments of assistance for the reintegration program from many volunteer groups, veterans’ service organizations, and government agencies. The program he helped develop and implement has been instrumental in helping SCARNG soldiers and families to successfully return to their family, work, school, and community life after deployment.

Upon his retirement from the South Carolina Army National Guard, he became a contractor in the National Guard Family Programs and started working for South Carolina National Guard Youth Camps and remained committed to that effort and helped initiate the prelude to Yellow Ribbon in South Carolina called “The Road Home.” He stayed in that position, until he became a Yellow Ribbon Contractor.

He is married to the former Georgia Adele Tolson and is the proud father of two children and one stepson; his daughter, Shannon Graham and her husband, Ryan; his son, William Edward O’Connor and his wife, Tamatha Hunt O’Connor; one stepson, Ronnie Wright, of Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and grandfather to four precious grandchildren.

The Legion of Merit was awarded to Chief Warrant Officer Three O’Connor for exceptional meritorious service during a 38-year career in the United States Marine Corps and the South Carolina Army National Guard. During his distinguished career, he was assigned to various successful positions of increasing responsibility, from engineer officer in the U.S.M.C., to M1A1 tank battalion commander in the SCARNG.

O’Connor enlisted in the U.S.M.C. in 1970 and subsequently completed O.C.S. to remain in the Marine Corps until joining the SCARNG in 1975. He served for 21 outstanding years as a faithful member of the 1Bn 263d Armor, headquartered in Mullins, S.C.

In 1990 he, then Major O’Connor, was ordered to active duty with the 1-263d AR in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm.

He is a shining example of the citizen-soldier and exemplifies the values treasured by all who serve in the United States Armed Forces.

His distinguished achievements and devotion to duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of military service and reflect great credit upon him, the United States Marine Corps, the South Carolina National Guard, and the United States Army.

He was also the founder and executive director of Trinity Behavioral Care, in Marion and was also founder of the Halfway House in Marion. In 2010 the Behavioral Health Services Association of South Carolina recognized him for his outstanding service in the field. He was also awarded a South Carolina Senate Resolution for both his military service and behavior treatment services to the citizens of the state.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to The Catholic Church of the Infant Jesus, 4534 North Hwy. 501, Marion, SC 29571.

An online register is available at RichardsonFH. net.


Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2017