John C. Conners
February 15, 2007 - John Connors, at 84; longtime agent for FBI
BRAINTREE -- As a former special agent for the FBI, John C. Connors played a key role in several high-profile cases, including the successful prosecution of Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa for misuse of union funds. But even after receiving commendations from FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and Attorney General Robert Kennedy, Mr. Connors never liked to talk about his accomplishments.
Mr. Connors, whose family described him as exceedingly humble, died Jan. 31 at Radius Healthcare in Braintree. He was 84.
"He would just quietly do his job," said his daughter, Kathleen Barker of Pembroke, "and he never expected recognition for things he would do."
Born in Dorchester and raised in North Quincy, Mr. Connors graduated from Bentley College with an accounting degree and served in World War II as a first lieutenant.
He was in the Army's 424/HQ 2Bn., 106th Infantry Division, and was awarded the Bronze Star for his service during the Battle of the Bulge.
When he returned from the war, he was hired as a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He testified at the Hoffa trial in the early 1960s, and his testimony helped land Hoffa in jail, his daughter said.
Mr. Connors spent time on FBI assignments in Galveston, Texas, and Miami before he was transferred to Boston, said his wife, Elizabeth (Racosky).
He and his wife lived in Braintree for more than 40 years.
After working for the FBI for 29 years, Mr. Connors retired in 1976. He then helped set up the White Collar Crime Unit in Norfolk County under William Delahunt, then the district attorney, his wife said. The unit probed tax defrauders and embezzlers.
"He was very, very intelligent," said another daughter, Teresa Good of Marion. "He had such a warm personality, and was always smiling. Everyone who knew him loved him."
Mr. Connors worked with parishioners from his church, St. Francis of Assisi, to form Independence Manor, a subsidized senior living facility that is still run by two of his children.
He recognized a need for affordable elderly housing, said his daughter Kathleen, who is the current director. He paid attention to detail, such as ensuring the facility had free meals for its residents.
"He was very approachable," she said. "He was the president and director, but he would still walk down the hallways and say hello to everybody."
In his free time, Mr. Connors enjoyed golf, music, and photography, his daughter Teresa said.
He was the former president of the South Shore Center for Brain Injured Children, an organization in which his wife was also involved.
In addition to his wife and daughters, he leaves four sons, John of Lake Hills, Texas, Joseph of San Antonio, Daniel of Braintree, and Paul of Dorchester; one other daughter, Anne Devaney of Henderson, Nev.; and 15 grandchildren.
A funeral Mass was said Feb. 3 in St. Francis of Assisi Church in Braintree. Burial was in Blue Hill Cemetery. Emily Yahr, Boston Globe - Boston,MA,USA
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James D. West