James Joseph Connors III

Jan 11, 1934 – Oct 21, 2014

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James Joseph “Joe” CONNORS III

January 11, 1934 – October 21, 2014


died peacefully in his sleep Oct. 21, 2014 in Seattle. 


Born in Sunnyvale, California, raised in Juneau, Alaska and Seattle, Washington, he attended Seattle’s O’Dea and Cleveland high schools, Mexico City College and the University of Washington. 


A brilliant linguist, he directed the Peace Corps training programs for Central and South America as well as Asia and wrote the first Foreign Service texts for the Aymara and Quechua languages.  He was by nature and profession a teacher. 


He was blessed with Irish wit, humor and a bit of the Blarney.  But nothing surpassed his gift of poetry.  Never was there a moment when from the slightest wisp of breeze he failed to extract a bit of verse.  He delighted in the magic of this gift, as did we all.


He married his college sweetheart Marie Sachs in 1955.  Together they raised five children and had 56 wonderful years together.  He loved his family and delighted in his children’s adventures and successes.  They were his opus.


He was a man of great intellect, generosity and humanity.


Joe is survived by his children; Lucrezia Paxson, Katherine, Michael, Patricia Kirkham and Jennifer Garza-Cuen; grandchildren Shauna Spenley, Amanda Paxson, Camille Kirkham, Michael and Allison Connors and Adia Kirkham; great-grandchildren Katherine, Ava and Jack Spenley; beloved family members Philip McFarland, John Paxson, Steve Bussey, Valerie Connors, Jeff Kirkham, Mark Mims, Mike Spenley, Dave Beran, Steve Walker, Joe, James and Leah McFarland; Andrew, Joe, Marie, Antonia, David, Edward, Tom, Michael, John and Steve (George) McPherson and their spouses and children.  Additionally, he is remembered by extended family Jim and Sherry Anderson, Doug and Sarah Tiel and dozens of exchange students from around the world to whom he was host father.  He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Marie, sister Pat McFarland and in-laws Gloria and Jim McPherson.


A wake will be held at 4 p.m., Oct. 27, 2014 at 20069 Pugh Rd. N.E. Poulsbo, WA. 98370.   Please direct flowers and remembrances to Bonney Watson, 1732 Broadway, Seattle, WA. 98122.  See:  www.bonneywatson.com.



Russ Smith
Hansville, WA
Mar 8, 2015

Joe and Marie, for many years (the 1970's) became an integral part of my spiritual path. From the regular potlucks at their home to the group meetings that Marie organized with the wonderful Charlie Lutes. A few times I lectured on TM and taught courses with Marie. At every event hosted by Joe and Marie you could count on feeling at home with them.....and ALL of their great children. Thank you Joe for the many insightful, and ALWAYS humorous conversations we had. Your firm feet on the ground taught me balance and Marie's eye on the sky opened my heart. To Lucrezia, Kathy and Michael (whom I knew best) I wonder where you all are in life. A strong hug to you all. I grieve your loss, as well.

Love, Russ

Gloria Isernio Sullivan
Arlington, Va
Oct 26, 2014

Dear Connors Family, I went to school with Joe, from Maple Grade School, through Cleveland High. I also knew his sister, Pat. Recently uncovering my Cleveland yearbook, I saw Joe's pictures and writing to me. He and I double dated to our Prom, Joe going with my best friend. I last saw Joe at a reunion, 2000. I delighted in telling him that I, too, now had an Irish last name. I'm happy reading about the fine family Joe raised, and the good things he did with his life.

---May the road rise to meet him, may the wind be ever at his back. May the sun shine upon his face, and the rain fall soft upon his fields. And until we meet again, may God hold him in the palm of His hand.

James Michael Connors
Reno, Nv
Oct 23, 2014

"Ah, make the most of what we may yet spend,

Before we too into the Dust descend;

Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie;

Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and - sans End!"

Verse XXV of The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

(my father's favorite poet)

I hope I have the good sense and intelligence to accept, love and forgive with all of my heart in the way my father did. I will miss him every day!

This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.