Daniel William O'Connor
July 15, 1984 – January 3, 2020
Danny O’Connor passed away suddenly but peacefully on January 3, 2020, at the San Francisco home he shared with his beloved wife and best friend Nicole. In addition to Nicole, Danny is survived by his devoted mother, Kathy Lyons-O’Connor, and his loving brother, Matt. He is preceded in death by his father, Brian, whose spirit of goodness continues to guide the family. He is also survived by his aunts and uncles, Jim Lyons (Nancy), Mary Lyons, Sister Maureen O’Connor, Don O’Connor (Mary), Sheila Schweifler (John), Linda O’Connor; many cousins; his parents-in-law, Mary Jane Mateer (Don Muns) and Scott Wentz; and brother-in-law, Peter Wentz; and is preceded in death by his Uncle Kevin O’Connor and Aunt Liz Lyons-Blumenthal. Danny also leaves behind many heartbroken friends, who will miss his exuberant, fun-loving, and inclusive spirit forever.
Danny was born in San Francisco on July 15, 1984, into a loving and close-knit family. He grew up in Novato, attending Our Lady of Loretto, Sinaloa Middle School, and San Marin High School. From his earliest days on the playground through his high school years and into his professional life, Danny was blessed with the natural ability to walk into a roomful of strangers and walk out with lifelong friends.
His Novato friends clearly recall when the 2001 Homecoming King was announced, and the building erupted with cheers. Danny received the honor with the same grace, charisma, humility—and warm, genuine smile—that had earned him the overwhelming support of his peers in the first place. Months later, that smile would be awarded “Best” of the 2002 graduating class. For the next 18 years, Danny’s smile would continue to elicit the fondness and admiration of those around him.
Danny brought these same qualities to his profession. He began his apprenticeship with the IBEW (International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers) Local Union 6 in September 2005. His professional path mirrored his personal history. He developed a reputation as an extremely competent craftsman who tried to do the best job possible every day, always with a sense of teamwork and humor. During his 14-year tenure, he was seen as a leader and morale booster, and later served as a foreman, leading and teaching both apprentices and journeymen. At the culmination of the five-year apprenticeship program, he received a coveted gold watch, awarded to the select few who never miss a day of class—a symbol of his work ethic and dedicated academic approach to his chosen trade. He took great pride in this achievement.
Danny met the love of his life, Nicole, at a Giants game on Mother’s Day 2015, when they found themselves in the same “sky” box, with their respective families, and were drawn to each other instantly. They started dating and soon were inseparable. They married at Tiburon’s Old St. Hilary’s Church on August 17, 2019.
Danny’s hobbies included golf, fishing, and watching SF sports with friends, but perhaps his greatest love was comedy. He was a true student of comedy as an art and science, and had an uncanny ability to memorize long movie quotes after only seeing them once, and recite them flawlessly at the perfect moment. He even sketched some of his own routines and considered testing the waters of stand-up comedy. Although he never made it to the stage, Danny’s remarkable mix of witty banter and self-deprecating humor—coupled with a strong self-awareness—was captivating. With a rare charisma, he would naturally take over a room. From his family’s annual Christmas Eve parties to a casual lunch to a bar full of strangers, he left countless crowds and individuals in fits of riotous laughter.
While the laughter Danny so often elicited has been replaced in recent days by tears, Danny’s sweetness, generosity and humor will forever be felt by all who were fortunate to experience them firsthand, and are the qualities for which we will always remember and treasure him.
Family and friends are invited to join us to celebrate Danny’s life at a memorial mass at Our Lady of Loretto Church in Novato on Wednesday, January 15, at 11am, with reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to UCSF Division of Cardiology (https://ucsfhealthcardiology.ucsf.edu/giving/support) or North Marin Community Services (https://www.northmarincs.org/get-involved/donate/).
- Funeral Mass Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Daniel William O'Connor
January 16, 2020
Danny had so many friends, I must have been #100 on the list, but when I was with him he made me feel like I was one of his best friends. All his friends treat me with same respect. His family and best friends did such an amazing job at the service today honoring his legacy, they should be very proud. I'm sure he was looking down with a huge smile. He was a bigger than life kind of guy and left his mark. I will never forget the memories I had with him. -LLP
January 15, 2020
I will always remember Danny with a smile on his face and having a fun time. Growing up with Danny was amazing, no matter what we did it was fun. Whether it was spending countless hours doing everything from riding bikes around Pine Grove to spending time inside while I had poison oak we always had a good time. My friendship with Danny was one of the great friendships of my life. Danny was an amazing person and I will miss him dearly. I will always keep and cherish the memories I have of him and I know his family and other friends will do the same.
WE LOVE YOU DANNY!!!
January 13, 2020
I have so many good memories of our sons becoming fast friends at Pine Grove and playing together at the pool or the rec hall. And then continuing there friendship home in Novato. My heart goes out to Kathy and Matt.
January 12, 2020
Happy memories of Danny in San Marin musicals - always happy. Lots of good things to remember.