What three words most accurately describe him?
Giving, passionate, optimistic. 

When and how did you realize how important he was going to be in your life?
I’ve always looked to my dad for the best advice personally and professionally. I could never repay him for the time he has spent guiding me to be a successful, respectful, and kind husband, father, and business professional. I’ve always listened to my dad, but I think we became closer as I became an adult and our family had to overcome some obstacles together. I have always known I can lean on him. He’s guided me through so much from how to buy my first house to parenting struggles. He has never let me down when I needed him. 

What do you think he really loved about his career?
My dad loved working directly with people every day. In order to help plan their retirement, he got to know their family, their goals, their dreams, and help them make a plan to achieve it. The whole process is personal, and he respected the trust he was given by his clients. 

Jim O’Connor, Retirement Plan Advisors, Founding Partner/Retired 

What quotes or sayings does he use most often?
No sales calls, no sales. The worst they can say is no.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from him?
That no matter what life throws at you, you wake up every morning with a smile on your face. You go out in the world and do your best every day while keeping your family top priority. 

Anything embarrassing we should know about him?
My dad has a can-do attitude, and now he’s in his retired life of managing a farm raising longhorn cattle. He was raised in Chicago, built a retirement planning business, and is now a farmer, so he sometimes lacks experience with much of the farm equipment. This gets him into lots of funny situations (sometimes not funny) such as: catching the skid steer on fire, ripping a tailgate off a truck (only to do it again a week after getting the other one replaced), and getting a riding mower stuck in a pond. He is always optimistic through these trials and tribulations. I always help fix the problem and then leave it by saying, “Boy, I would hate to be his insurance agent,” and we both laugh.

What else do you want to share about him?
Because my dad is so jovial all the time, it’s hard to imagine that he has experienced such loss in recent years–unexpectedly losing two children far before their time. He is the rock of our family, and not only do I depend on him for almost daily advice, but he also spends much of his time with my mom. They’ve been happily married for 34 years. I’m so grateful to have him in my life and for our two kids to know him. I can only hope to be as great of a dad as he has been to me. He has shown me how to build a lasting legacy for our family and our community.

Narrated by his son,
Joey O’Connor
Independent Agent, Mid Rivers Insurance