August 6 1946 August 31 2020
Michael’s Obituary Michael T. O’Connor, Warrior Clown of Big Rapids, passed away at the age of 74 Monday, August 31, 2020. He was born in Saginaw August 6, 1946, the son of Charles and Alice (Swanson) O’Connor. While in high school, Mike looked up to his social studies teacher who was awarded a Medal of Honor for his service during World War II. This act of heroism is the reason Mike enlisted with the United States Army. He served his country honorably during the Vietnam War. Mike held the rank of Staff Sergeant and received a Bronze Star after eight years, two months, and 13 days of dedication to the military. He had a natural understanding of radios and computers which saved his life and others in Vietnam. After Mike was discharged from the Army, he devoted himself to creating a database of all Vietnam Veterans and the history of the Vietnam War which consisted of over 51,000 names. This information was used to write four books that Mike is mentioned in and also used at United States Military Academy West Point. Suffering from PTSD, Mike found a therapy in Humanitarian Clowning where he was the first Warrior Clown. Mike was the Executive Producer and key Warrior Clown in two movies, Clownvets, which earned the Kaiser Permanente Thrive Award in 2019, and Michigan Warrior Clowns. Mike’s involvement with clowning earned him a spot on the Gesundheit! Institute staff with Dr. Patch Adams. He also held other various positions throughout his working career such as: Drill Sergeant and Game Warden at Fort Knox in Kentucky, Sheriff in Bay County, Michigan, an administrator for AOL, and a general contractor with an hvac company. In his spare time, Mike was the past Commander for the Big Rapids AmVets Post 1941, a Ham Radio Operator, and a member of SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). He also enjoyed riding his Harley. Mike is survived by his fiancée, Sheila Jones and her children, Sam Crosslan, Doug Horning, and JR Jones; his two daughters, Collene (Scott) Hall and Cailan (Chuck) Fry; three grandchildren, Alisa (Craig) Huddlston, George (Candace) Quick, and Ruth Amanda Casimir; three great-grandchildren, Adie, Wally, and Gary Quick; two sisters, Carol O’Connor-Eisenberg and Shannon (Rusty) Brewster; numerous nieces and nephews including O’Connors and Demijohns. He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers Charles and Henry “Hank” O’Connor, and sister Kate Demijohn. Memorial contributions may be made in Mike’s name to the Michael O’Connor Warrior Clown Fund. Cremation has taken place and there will be a private family service. Mike’s celebration of life will be available to watch on our website by Tuesday, September 8th. The family encourages everyone to share a memory or pictures and leave a condolence on his guestbook page at www.daggettgilbertfuneralhome.com The family is being cared for by the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Homes in Mecosta County. Read More
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Michael Trouble O’Connor August 6 1946 August 31 2020.
Death notice for the town of: Barryton, state: Michigan