BILL R. O'CONNOR, 83 of Ogallala, passed away Wednesday, November 1, 2017, at Great Plains Health in North Platte.
Bill was born December 6, 1933, in North Platte, Nebraska to William R. and Edna C. (Cameron) O'Connor. He attended school in Elsie before graduating from the University of Nebraska School of Technical Agriculture at Curtis in 1951.
On December 3, 1953, Bill married Mary Alice "Allie" Feltz at St. Luke's Catholic Church in Ogallala. The couple made their home in Wallace where they farmed with Bill's dad. Their union was blessed with two sons, Sam and Billy. In 1959, the family moved to the Keystone Ranch, where they lived and raised their sons. In 1999, Bill and Allie bought a home on the northwest edge of Ogallala, where they enjoyed hosting their grandchildren and spending time with family.
Bill's life and demeanor were shaped by his cowboy roots. As a younger man, Bill loved competing in rodeos. Bill was a no-frills kind of man that enjoyed roping, riding and having fun. While he slowed down steadily over the years, Bill never lost his spirit and sense of humor. He was a dedicated grandpa and avidly supported his grandchildren in whatever events they were featured.
Bill had served as a board member of the Nebraska Sandhills Hall of Fame for several years and was later inducted himself. He was a past winner of the Trail Boss Award at NebraskaLand Days and had been a longtime director with the Bank of Keystone. He also served as President of the Nebraska High School Rodeo Association.
Bill was preceded in death by his parents; son, Billy; and brother, Jerry.
Survivors include his wife of 63 years, Allie O'Connor of Ogallala; son, Sam (Liz) O'Connor of Keystone; 5 grandchildren, Merritt (Maggie Vander Laan), Alex, Cam, Rhett and Darby O'Connor; a great-granddaughter, Nora Mae O'Connor; 5 nieces; and many other relatives and friends.
A memorial has been established in Bill's memory for later designation. Condolences may be shared at prairiehillsfuneralhome.com, where the service will be streamed live for those unable to attend.
Mass of Christian Burial will be on Monday, November 6, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. at the St. Luke's Catholic Church in Ogallala with Father Bryan Ernest as Celebrant. Burial with military honors will be in the Ogallala Cemetery.
Visitation will be on Sunday, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. at the Prairie Hills Funeral Home in Ogallala. A Rosary will be recited at 6 p.m. on Sunday at St. Luke's Catholic Church.
Prairie Hills Funeral Home of Ogallala is in charge of arrangements.