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JJ tragically died in the devastating Christchurch Earthquake.

Christchurch Earthquake Victims

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  • Messages

    Messages posted (9)
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    • Childhood memories of JJ

      My brother Ml and I would call to JJ's house every day to collect milk from Nana.This meant a short pedal up the road.More often than not we were gone for hours as a game of some sorts, usually Rounders, was played.JJ, Marie, Thomas, Don, Ml and I would play with the noise of the milking parlour in the background, that same sound brings happy memories to this day. During Summer holidays we would head up the fields and have a picnic there or play in the cowsheds where a password was required or you weren't allowed in.Jaffa biscuits were a big treat and you were given one if allowed into the cowshed.Stations held in O'Connors house were always an occasion for neighbours and relations to call. A big meal was laid on and we were called in from our game.I remember JJ coming in and sitting down and of course was sweating from all the running around and used Sheila's sparkling white table cloth to wipe his forehead, needless to say the tablecloth wasn't white then.We pretended nothing, I'm sure Sheila wondered what had happened to same.Years later at another Station in O'Connors JJ came over to see my little baby,Denis.I always remember his words "take care of him, he is precious.." it is so sad to think JJ won't meet his new little bundle or to care for him and Dan as he and Sarah would like to have done together.It is so hard to comprehend that you are not here.I'm sure you are in Heaven with your Dad, pg we will all meet again some day.Rest in peace JJ. Aine McMahon, Duagh,Kerry.

      Aine McMahon. Listowel, Ireland. Sunday, May 29, 2011

    • My last text

      So United won the league and took the record for league champions from the dreaded mousers. Your Munster beat my beloved Ulster (again!). Ireland beat the old enemy in the rugby AND in the cricket, can you believe it? I wont even begin talking about Rory McIlroy ("one your lot" no doubt you'd say)! Seems a lot less important without the accompanying text banter from you. Will miss your humour and smile, will miss our email and text dissections of the latest sporting events. Will not miss your abbreviations! Will see you again.

      Kailash Chada. London, United Kingdom. Friday, May 20, 2011

    • Until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

      I was very privileged to be J.J.'s Aunt and have known him all his life. As a child he was the centre of every conversation. He enjoyed every part of farm life. As I visited the family each year I observed him growing up and being such a pleasure to be with. I watched him mature with the years and take responsibility when his father died. He always had a pleasant disposition and won the hearts of his peers with his ready smile. He loved sport and even as a very small boy knew all the teams by name. When J.J. moved to London he gained more friends and everyone was happy for him when he married his beautiful wife Sarah.
      When I returned to London from Philadelphia I was delighted to be so near J.J. and we often visited each other. That gave me another insight to J.J. his loving care of Sarah and his pride and joy when Dan was born. We were all happy to have some extra time with the family before they returned to New Zealand.
      It is hard to believe that we won't see J.J. physically again but his presence lives on in our hearts and we will always have memories of his happy smile.

      Sr. Mary T. O'Connor. London, United Kingdom. Monday, May 16, 2011

    • J, I can't believe you have gone from us. I still think you are living happily on the other side of the world. It's a great pity I'm wrong. You always called to see my Dad and Mum when you came home, it was much appreciated. My deepest sympathy to Sarah, Dan, Sheila, Marie, Thomas, Don & Anne. May you rest peacefully with the angels. Love Catherine

      Catherine O'Connor. Lissereen, Ireland. Monday, April 25, 2011

    • JJ is my first cousin and he and his family lived on a farm with my Grandparents. We used to visit my Grandparents every single Sunday when i was a child. My Grandparents adored JJ and always spoke so highly of him -even as a child he was truely special.My Grandmother always said she never had to correct JJ he always just knew what to do. I was never jealous of this because it wasn't something JJ deliberatley strived for -it was just naturally JJ. We spent our summer holidays at my Grandmothers with JJ and I remember our trips to Banna Beech with Aunty Mary and Fr Tom and our days in the bog -"happy days" I rememeber when I first left home and went to the U.K. JJ and his mom came with me and I rememeber the many Sundays we had at JJ'S Aunty Sheila's in London. I remember JJ'S wedding in Christchurch and the fabulous 3 week holiday I had and how special Sarah and recently Dan were to JJ. What happened on feb 22nd is beyond my mental, emotional and physcological territority and has left us all distraught, bewildered and completely shocked. I still find myself asking the question -"how could this be?" It is said that people come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime. For me JJ was sent into my life for a season -it was the season of youth i.e. the season of Spring and Summer to bring joy, happiness and show me the beauty and kindness of mankind and I thank God we had someone like JJ in our family even if it was for only a season. May you rest in Peace. MARY STACK

      mary stack. listowel Kerry, Ireland. Thursday, April 21, 2011

    • When I think of John, I think of family and how he made you feel part of his family. He made our friend Sarah so very happy and, for example, their wedding was one where you felt not just a guest but, family. I have yet to attend another wedding where every guest was on the dance floor until the very last song! When you visited, you got a cheeky grin and joined him on the sofa to watch the footy or by the BBQ, much like you would with your brother or dad. He could BBQ everything, to perfection. John was such a proud father of Dan and you were treated like an aunt or uncle, joining in on Dan’s achievements. He was so looking forward to taking Dan to football, even at 1! There was no fuss, no bother, always an ear and if needed advice, no judgement just acceptance, you were family.

      J Pender. London, United Kingdom. Saturday, April 16, 2011

    • A wonderful friend

      'When someone you love becomes a memory the memory becomes a treasure.'
      I posess the most precious of treasures in the memories I have of JJ. He was truely a special person, always in good form, full of fun and a fab person to spend time with. I am heartbroken that I will never see his grin again or hear his voice again but I am so blessed to have known him and am so thankful that he was part of my life since my college days.
      Sarah, Daniel, Mrs. O'Connor, Marie, Thomas, Don and Anne. I treasured JJ's friendship and I will carry those memories in my heart forever. My thoughts are with you all.

      Tanya Schorman. Dublin, Ireland. Friday, April 08, 2011

    • JJ with his cheeky smile

      In memory of J I had to pick a horse for his unending love of Cheltenham :-)

      Sarah, Daniel, Sheila & all the O'Connor family my thoughts are with you at this time and for the long road ahead. When I think of him I think of his smile and the great fun & joy he brought to his family & his friends.

      The memories I have are so plentiful and funny, my own personal solace from this tragedy is that I knew him and that he was part of my life. His ability to be there as a friend no matter what was going on and his ability to just seem to know the right thing to say at the right time.How he adored Sarah & Daniel…how he adored fatherhood…outside the sleepless nights that is :-) He was a great Dad, he was an amazing husband to Sarah and he was one of the nicest, funniest, friendliest and special people I have had the pleasure to call a friend in my life.

      JJ - the Jenga King you are missed beyond words, your cheeky warm smile is missed from all our lives xxx

      Epitaph on a Friend
      An honest man here lies at rest,
      The friend of man, the friend of truth,
      The friend of age, and guide of youth:
      Few hearts like his, with virtue warm'd,
      Few heads with knowledge so inform'd;
      If there's another world, he lives in bliss;
      If there is none, he made the best of this.
      Robert Burns

      Kay O'Keeffe. Ireland. Wednesday, March 23, 2011

    • Words can't convey our deepest sympathy

      Although I have only met John on a couple of occasions I knew there was something special about him. I was honoured to attend his funeral today and see the love and respect for him.
      Dear Sarah you have lost a loving husband but have so much to live for. I hope as the days go by the hurt you feel today will ease and you can enjoy life with your children and honour John in your own way.
      If there is anything I can do for you please ask.

      God Bless

      Kieran Kavanagh
      Global Living

      Kieran Kavanagh. Christchurch, New Zealand. Saturday, March 19, 2011

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