Dr. Steve O'Connor, Marathoner, Showed Tremendous Will Completing Feats of Endurance


Steve O’Connor showed us all how to truly live, not just through his words but through the enduring legacy he left in the hearts he touched. We’re heartbroken to share that Steve, aged 64, passed away on November 23, 2023, in Charlotte, North Carolina, surrounded by his family’s love.

Steve was born on July 8, 1959, in Ann Arbor, Michigan to Thomas and Elaine O’Connor. He was a 1977 graduate of Saline High School where he ran track and cross country. He followed his passion for biology from Albion College to Wayne State University for his medical degree, eventually choosing a life of saving others in Emergency Medicine. For over 33 years, Steve’s career was a journey of helping others, from being a Flight Physician at Borgess Inflight Medical Services in Kalamazoo, Michigan to a Staff Physician at Good Samaritan Hospital in Vincennes, Indiana to leading Emergency Services in Jasper, Indiana. His professional life was impressive, marked by roles like Medical Director of Vigiles Safety Academy, Chief Science Officer of Liv Labs and Chief Medical Officer of Salutem Health Group. But it was his feats of endurance, completing the Leadville Trail 100-Mile Ultramarathon and seven Ironman Triathlons, that showed his incredible will.

Steve was a true Renaissance man. When he wasn’t at the hospital, he was woodworking, tending to his chickens and bees, brewing kombucha, or exploring new artistic endeavors. He had a wanderlust soul, visiting 41 countries, with Croatia being his most recent adventure with his wife, Michelle. Together, they started Life’s Journey Tours in Ecuador, embarking on a new path of spiritual and holistic exploration. In pursuit of this goal, Steve had recently devoted himself to mastering the art of functional and plant medicine.

His love and legacy will continue to flourish through everyone he impacted, especially his family.

Steve is survived by his loving wife of 39 years, Michelle; children Christopher (Guiomar Hernan Santesteban), Thomas (Kimberly Schechter), Erin (Brad Roesner), Maggie (Ben Whittle), and Stephen (Mary Elise Dorsett); grandchildren TJ, Nolan, Ryder (Thomas and Kim), Adelaide, Jack, Malachi, and Oakley (Erin and Brad); siblings Sharon O’Connor Knobeloch, Susan (Charles) Still, Thomas O’Connor, Judith (Jim) Bacheldor, Deborah O’Connor Perkins, Kim (Lee) Murphy, and David O’Connor; and many nephews and nieces. He is preceded in death by his parents.

To honor Steve’s memory, a Celebration of Life Service will be held in Jasper, Indiana in the spring. Instead of flowers, we’d love for you to support causes close to Steve’s heart. Timmy Global Health is an international non-profit organization that Steve worked closely with since 2006. He participated in numerous medical missions through Timmy, including with his children Thomas, Maggie, and Stephen. The second is a scholarship fund that will be set up in Steve’s name for a graduating senior of Jasper High School who participates in the Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA) program and intends on a healthcare career.

Steve’s life was a tapestry of service, adventure, and love, and his story will continue to inspire us all.

Link to donate to Timmy Global Health: www.timmyglobalhealth.org/donate
Donate to Steve’s HOSA Scholarship Fund: Venmo – DrStephenLOConnorMemorialFund or Make checks payable to Dr. Stephen L. O’Connor Memorial Fund and mail to German American Bank (Attn. Michael Kern) 711 Main Street, Jasper, IN 47546

Online condolences may be left at www.heritagecares.com.

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