Bob and Mary O’Connor of Arbor Lakes and Troy, New York, are the Knights of Columbus Council Family of the Month for January. They are snowbirds.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, they have reduced their attendance at community and religious events. Still, Bob and Mary regularly take care of the kitchen, serving hot dogs, snacks and drinks to Knights of Columbus bingo players in the Lecanto room.
“Here is an example of how couples can root themselves in two communities and be truly productive in both,” Grand Knight Mike Belkin said. “Seasonal members like the O’Connors add energy and perspective to our board and the community. We welcome them warmly.
Membership has been satisfactory, Mary and Bob agree.
Bob is a quiet man and was a bit of a reluctant knight. He joined in October 2017 after turning down several offers. Then Citrus Hills council member Jerry Doceti grabbed Bob from the back of Our Lady of Grace Church and extended the invitation that made the difference.
Bob loves the opportunities to connect with other Knights and meet lots of great people. Mary enjoys being a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of Council 6168, working in the kitchen and serving lunch during Bunco games.
The O’Connors first set up a winter home in Arbor Lakes in 2015. Summers find them at their home in the Adirondacks in Edinburg, New York, from June through October.
Prior to retirement, Bob spent over 37 years in the railroad industry, maintaining freight cars for various railroads including Penn Central, Conrail and CSX.
Mary is a registered nurse who has worked as a clinical coordinator overseeing five urgent care/primary care facilities. She then retired after five years with the New York Correctional Service.
Bob remembers that while working full time, he went back to school when he was 50 years old. After five years of study, he graduated from Schenectady County Community College with an Associate in Culinary Arts, a degree that required classroom work and intensive hands-on learning in kitchens.
Bob is also a member of the Ocala Sportsman’s Association and a life member of the Nassau Sportsmen’s Club in New York, whose mission is to promote the protection of wildlife and the conservation of natural resources and the safe and healthy use of firearms. fire.
Both consider themselves New Englanders, with Mary from Vermont and Bob from nearby Troy.
Their son, Paul, is also a culinary arts graduate and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. He recently moved to Phoenix, Arizona, and is looking forward to opening a restaurant there.
Their daughter, Tara, teaches special education in Salem, New York. She and her husband, Jamie, have so far given them their only grandchild, 9-year-old Oscar Lee.