William “Kelly” O’Connor was born on July 7, 1960 to William R. and Nancy O. (Bland) O’Connor in Memphis, Tennessee and passed away on Monday, June 1, 2020 at the age of 59 years, 10 months and 25 days.
Kelly married Doris (Whiteside) O’Connor on August 14, 1983 in Bridgeport, Texas.
They lived in Rolla, Missouri for many years before moving to their current home in St. James, Missouri over 10 years ago.
Kelly was an active member of the Rolla Seventh Day Adventist Church and served as the treasurer as well as volunteering in many capacities.
Kelly graduated from Cuba High School in 1978 and earned his Associates Degree in Digital Electronics from Rolla Technical Institute in 1986. He studied digital electronics and circuit design, graduated with honors and was awarded Student of the Year in 1986. He also earned his Infrastructure Technology Information Library certification in 2007. He was the first in 40 that passed the certification without classroom training. He was also a Certified Novell Administrator, earning that certification in 2001.
Kelly was a CNC Programmer & Tool Maker for five years at Affinia in Cuba, Missouri before becoming their Network Administrator for six years. He then served as the Systems Administrator for two years at EDS and the IT Manager at Ozark Mountain Technologies for six years. At Ozark Mountain Technologies, he managed and built the company infrastructure from scratch as the company moved into a new building.
Kelly began his career as Project Manager with LMI Aerospace in Cuba, Missouri in July of 2014 and was a dedicated and integral employee until the time of his death. He recently designed an automated tank control system and wastewater control system for the company. He also introduced 3D printing to the company and was proficient in the use of a Fusion 360 printer to design fixtures for process improvements at LMI Aerospace. Kelly had a unique style of troubleshooting and used “out of the box” ideas to solve difficult problems and reduce costs.
He loved all things technology and was also a competition radio control airplane pilot. In this capacity, he worked with over 400 MS&T students for 20 years as primary test pilot of their AAVG planes, test flying over 75 radio controlled competition aircraft. After successful testing, the planes were flown in globally attended Aerospace University competitions from all over the world, earning several prestigious titles, including first place in 2003, as well as several second and third place awards.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Nancy O’Connor; infant son, Darren Schmidt; and daughter, Dawn Renick.
He is survived by his wife, Doris O’Connor; father, William O’Connor and wife Sharon of Apopka, Florida; three daughters, Sherri Cios and wife Emily of Reno, Nevada, Rhonda Miller and husband Kenny of Leasburg, Missouri and Jenny Friedmann and husband Dan of Eureka, Missouri; seven grandchildren, Kim Counts, Denise Counts, Danielle Counts, Jaden Counts, Noah Paul, Collin Avery and Kyle Avery; three great grandchildren, Hailey Lane, Hunter Lane and Nicole Lane; brothers, Edward O’Connor and wife Kelly of Newalla, Oklahoma, Bob O’Connor and wife Judy of Rolla, Missouri, Andy O’Connor of St. James, Missouri, Joe O’Connor and wife Kim of New Bloomfield, Missouri and Jeffrey O’Connor and wife Carissa of Apopka, Florida and Kevin O’Connor and wife Jessica; Batman, Rocky; other relatives and friends.
Memorial service was held at 3 p.m. on Sunday, June 14, 2020 at the Rolla Seventh Day Adventist Church in Rolla, Missouri.
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