In Memoriam - Kevin J O'Connor
It is with incredible sadness we are posting this message to let you know that Kevin O’Connor passed away peacefully Saturday morning at his home in New York City. His wife, Suzanne, was next to him.
Kevin was a kind and loving husband, father and grandfather.
He was a trusted and admired partner to Fred, they founded owR Opinion together in 1986 but were friends for years before that after meeting in their CLU classes in the 70s. Kevin was a true student of the business and his passion for it was unmatched, as was the size of his heart.
To his associates at owR, Kevin was a kind and patient leader with a positive outlook that was contagious. He became a teacher and mentor to so many in our business - his knowledge and enthusiasm extending well beyond business.
Kevin will be missed terribly but we feel so fortunate for having had the opportunity to know him and work with him. We know many of you share our sentiments as evidenced by the outpouring of support we have received over the past few days. He certainly cherished his relationships with all of you.
We have received some incredible messages from our network, which is no surprise given the number of lives Kevin touched throughout the years and how much he has given back to our industry. Notes and memories span the years and we would love the opportunity for everyone to share in these. We will share them with his family as well. While COVID-19 has limited our ability to celebrate his life together at this time, we hope this site helps bring a smile to your face in honor of a truly great man.
This would obviously be difficult in the best of times, but in the current environment making arrangements is extra hard. We will update this with additional information as it is available.
At this time, we ask that you join us in remembering Kevin fondly and continuing his legacy. He truly believed in what he did and what you do every day.
From owR family to yours, best wishes and stay well.
John Keenan on April 7, 2020 at 9:23 am
I remember meeting Kevin for the first time in the early 1990’s at his internal office at Dascit, White and Winston in NYC. The door opened and Kevin appeared through the smoke like an apparition (they were allowed smoke in offices back then). We had a lively conversation about the industry that first day – and many more since. A true insurance professional and warm, kind hearted man. I learned a lot from him – Kevin (and Fred) took me in and gave me some work when I was between roles early in my career. Their help led me to the career I have enjoyed these many years. I will never forget and have tried to “pay it forward” with others. RIP Kevin.
brett rosen on April 7, 2020 at 9:29 am
I knew this day was coming but you’re still never prepared for the news.
I’m beyond saddened (tears in my eyes) on the loss of my friend Kevin. I was introduced to him in 1997 by Steve Kramer.
Our business together became secondary to our meaningful personal relationship.
Professor Kevin as I referred to him will be sorely missed. He taught me so much and was always there for me!
He was such a special human being to me and my family.
Norman Ross on April 7, 2020 at 10:20 am
I was introduced to Kevin in 1986 by my father at my CLU conferment luncheon at the Waldorf Astoria.
Kevin patted me on the shoulder and told me, “now, the work begins.”
His laugh was infectious and warm as he shook my hand and wished me well.
Over the years, we spent time together at industry meetings, lunches, and conference calls.
My business conversations with Kevin were always instructive and thought-provoking.
He would challenge my thinking and offer additional insights.
I will always remember his generosity of thought and friendship.
On several occasions, we traveled together to the funerals and memorials of industry colleagues. We would discuss our families. He proudly told me of his children’s accomplishments.
Thank you, Kevin, you “raised the bar” for all of us.
Cristi Miller on April 7, 2020 at 10:29 am
I met Kevin in 1992 when I worked for a very successful producer. I was a young, new immigrant from the Philippines who did not know anything at all about the insurance business. Kevin helped me understand our industry, be better at my job and be as helpful to others as he was. He inspired me with his depth of knowledge, insights and wisdom.
He was extremely kind, generous, supportive, smart and a wonderful, wonderful man. Kevin, thank you so much for everything you had taught me, for all the hours you’ve spoken with me in over 2 decades, for all your guidance, advice and loving care. I am so grateful to have known you. Thank you for being a part of my life. I will truly, truly miss you and will never ever forget you!
Lori Falduto on April 7, 2020 at 11:36 am
To Kevin’s family and closest friends and business associates, my deepest sympathy. It has been an honor to work for such a smart, professional, kind man in the insurance industry.
Andy DePhillips on April 7, 2020 at 11:40 am
To my friends at OWR and the Life Insurance industry,
This week we all lost a great friend and the best Brokerage man I have ever known.
When you needed an answer to a question or advice as to how best handle a situation, we all knew;
“You’d better call Kevin”.
Clients would say to me “Can you bring Kevin with you?”
Kevin, I was so glad to have you with me.
I’m sure I will often pick up the phone to reach out to you for advice and some good laughs. You will be greatly missed, my friend.
John J. Doolan on April 7, 2020 at 12:40 pm
So sorry to hear this as Kevin was a true gentleman and a credit to our industry. He will be greatly missed. My family and I will keep Kevin and his family in our thoughts and our prayers.
Eternal rest grant upon Kevin, O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May Kevin’s soul and all the souls of the faithfully departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.
David Macchia on April 7, 2020 at 2:54 pm
I’m terribly sad to learn of Kevin’s passing. I do not have words adequate enough to describe how kind, generous and supportive Kevin was to me. Kevin was a true gentleman, an industry stalwart, a brilliant thinker, and a true friend. I recall our first meeting in the ’90s and his telling me about his daughters. He was such a proud father. A good and decent man has been taken from us. I will always remember Kevin and feel gratitude for having known him.
Curt Brooks on April 7, 2020 at 3:04 pm
I first met Kevin back in the ’90’s at various CLU/ChFC events in the city. He always had a hearty laugh and greeted everyone as his best friend – come to think of it, they probably were! In time, he became a strong force in my professional life, where he became one of my true mentors in this field, teaching me not only the “numbers” side of the business, but also the all-important personal side as well. It became second nature to walk two offices down to ask him a question (we shared office space) and never once did he act like I was imposing on him or his time. Over time, I felt like I knew his family as he always talked so lovingly of them and with great pride as well. On a personal note, I will never forget his caring attitude when my late wife was diagnosed with terminal cancer and his taking time out of his incredibly busy schedule to attend her funeral – one of the kindest gestures which I will always remember for the rest of my life. That was Kevin, though! Unfortunately, in this crazy time, I cannot repay that expression of graciousness, even though my thoughts are with you and your family at this difficult time. R.I.P., Kevin
Thomas Coyle on April 13, 2020 at 4:42 pm
Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes to everything expressed by Mr. Brooks, above. And Alejandra Sanchez below. We were all lucky to have spent time with him at our offices on Madison Avenue though his love and fascination for and with his family was by far his #1 priority. And, he loved sharing stories about them, always. As an insurance professional his knowledge, enthusiasm and his desire to share was a given though his understanding was so superior to most of us, he never made you feel small. When you had a question, a case or just wanted to chat, his willingness and time was expressed with the care of the most talented of teachers/professors, though deep down, he knew that I was clueless and that I would be back again for affirmations. He was this gentle book of wisdom rarely seen in our industry yet he was an open book. And willing to share with anyone. People like Kevin do not come along often especially in this industry, and his passing will be felt by all of us. My condolences to his revered family and to those that held him so close. God Bless Kevin. And in my mind, though his body was ravaged by so many things, he would have beaten this Covid Virus.
Robert Stuchiner on April 7, 2020 at 5:09 pm
Kevin was my dear friend. He provided many things in my life that I cherish. He was my mentor, my confidant, my intellectual leader, and many other things that I cant even begin to cover. He provided me with confidence that enabled me to excel in my career. I will truly miss him. Not only did he provide the intellectual leadership for the insurance industry in New York, he gave back in many ways. Whether it was the New York Society, The Center for Financial Studies, The American College, and of course The Yale Insurance Study Group.
He was loved by many people.
Alejandra Sanchez on April 8, 2020 at 11:16 am
My dear friend and mentor, thank you for all the wonderful things you brought to my life: your warm smile & contagious laugh, your wisdom, for believing in me more than I did, for cheering me on & cheering me up, for your kindness, and generosity with the most valuable asset – your time, for so many things that I can’t possibly list them all here.
I will never forget our conversations about anything and everything, I can still hear you saying “fantastic” (I thought it was your favorite word ????)…but most importantly, how you always spoke about your family with such profound love and pride.
I selfishly wanted you to stay with us for many many more years, but I know you are resting, at peace, and happy for having lived such full and rich life.
You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.
You will always make me smile through all the memories…I love you and miss you forever!
Lori Ayers on April 9, 2020 at 10:41 am
The world has surely lost a kind & brilliant man.
Kevin was one of my mentors in the insurance business who helped give me the knowledge & confidence I needed to develop and shape many of the things I have accomplished over the years. He always took the time to answer questions and explain how a process or product worked in a way that was easy to understand. Kevin was a teacher that made learning interesting & fun!
When situations would get stressful, Kevin had a way of looking at the bright side and he helped to keep the focus on the goal line.
Kevin cherished his family and always spoke of his children with so much love & pride.
My thoughts and prayers are with his family and the OWR family at this sad time. Rest in Peace Kevin
Ed Sparkowski on April 10, 2020 at 12:59 pm
I had the pleasure and privilege to know Kevin as a brilliant and fun person. He was always kind to me and anyone else in his company. Any of us who knew him could go on and on forever, but if you knew him, you don’t need me to tell you what a fine person he was. Best to Kevin’s family and friends.
Allison Anne Hoyt on April 10, 2020 at 5:52 pm
I am so thankful that I got to know Kevin as a newbie in the insurance business, about 8 years ago. Kevin took me under his wing and was always encouraging of my professional pursuits. I remember thinking at FSP meetings – “Who is this guy who always has something pertinent to share with the group? I have to know him.” He really welcomed me into the NYC insurance community and I believe helped change the arc of my career. He diligently attended all of our FSP board meetings and study group meetings in person, for as long as he could, and then by phone afterwards. He enjoyed discussing the issues of the day and always had a client’s best interest at heart. He had a wonderful, friendly disposition and as a student of the business, I believe there is no better role model for an insurance professional. The last time we spoke was in January of 2020, about the life insurance regulations going into effect in NYS; Kevin was, in Kevin style, trying to get the right voices heard on the issue. We are all better off for having known Kevin. His spirit will live on in the numerous lives that he touched. <3
Richard Harris on April 12, 2020 at 3:56 pm
Kevin has meant so much to me, as well as the entire industry. He provided all who knew him with a moral center for doing business. He was a true student of the business and my conversations with him about the business were always fulfilling and laugh filled. His laughter still resonates with me. He was ever an optimist, looking for the best in any situation. It is through him that I became a member of the Yale Insurance Group, and I will always be thankful to be so honored, especially by Kevin thinking I would make a worthy member. I am sad for his family, everyone who knew him, and myself for not being able to see or hear him again, and not having his insight and wise counsel. He will be missed.
Christine Henry Ruberti on April 15, 2020 at 11:44 am
I had the pleasure of working and learning from Kevin for many years (in the 90’s at Dascit and as an employee of owR) I can still hear that laugh and it makes me smile. Not only a genius in his field but a kind and loving person. My deepest condolences to all his family that he loved so much. Rest in Peace.
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