Martha Joyce (Robichaud) O’Connor
July 12, 1947 – January 16, 2021
“In a minute.” Martha, to Paul every day.
Martha O’Connor, wife, mother, Meme, Aunt, Artist, Connoisseur of champaign, wine, and other delectable delights. As well as the reigning O’Connor Cribbage Champion. Martha passed surrounded by her husband, Paul, of 47 years and her two children, Peter of Perkasie, PA and ahem…her ‘favorite’ child, Erin, of Rockland, MA. Martha was born in Cambridge, MA on July 12, 1947 as the first of three children of Norman “Pete” Robichaud and Jean E. (Randell) Robichaud. Martha and her siblings, Timothy (predeceased 2010) and Norma grew up in Winchendon, MA along with an enthusiastic and gregarious extended Robichaud family. Woodlawn Street was not only an address but a longtime gathering place for the la famille.
Martha graduated with Honors from Murdock High School in 1965. At the time she went onto the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to pursue a degree in Education. Her next stop was John Hancock, a company she remained with for the next 6 years in Boston, Philadelphia, and Manhattan. Luckily for her children in January of 1973 she went on a blind date with a smooth talking “stranger in the night” from Brooklyn. He would later propose to her under the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge and they would be married.
Paul and Martha began their family in Brooklyn but it was a move back to Winchendon where they became members a community. Martha’s connection to the town and the school system made it perfect for her to head the School Committee from 1981 to 1984. Over the coming years she volunteered her time with the Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Clark Memorial Swim Team, Winchendon Little League and many other local causes.
In 1986 she was fortunate to take on a parttime position with the Winchendon Courier as bookkeeper. While juggling wifing, mothering, working, and connoisseuring she obtained two Associate Degrees from MWCC. It was around this time that she took on one of her most cherished projects, Murdock Middle/High School Building Needs Committee. This project was a labor of love for Martha who worked tirelessly over ten years to make sure that the kids of Winchendon had a new school building.
She brought that same passion to her work when she took over as Publisher of the Winchendon Courier and Jaffrey-Rindge Chronicle. She thought small town newspapers were a necessary connection for the community and it was an honor for her to present the readers a new edition each week. Martha helmed the newspapers until they were sold in 1994 and she moved onto working for the IRS until she retired in 2003.
With a retirement plan in mind and their daughter’s beloved cat, Sheba, they relocated to North Port, FL. Martha found post-retirement work with the Parks and Recreation Department in Sarasota, where she finally retired for good in 2010.
This past November Martha and Paul celebrated 47 years of marriage. A marriage that produced two fantastic children (Peter & Erin), two wonderful daughters-in-law (Jillian & Marcie), and three brilliant and talented grandchildren (Colby, Eleanor, & Jade.) A life that encompassed love, laughter, many friends, even more family, and lots of great wine. (Franzia Crisp White aside, no judging here…)
Martha lived with Alzheimer’s for the last few years. A disease that sadly also took her mother, Jean. In lieu of flower please donate to: Alzheimer’s Association.
A Celebration of Life will be held in Winchendon sometime in summer 2021. Martha will be interred in Winchendon, MA at the Massachusetts Veterans Cemetery. More details to follow.
A Celebration of Life will be held from 3:00PM-6:00PM with service at 4:00PM on Friday, January 22nd, 2021 at Farley Funeral Home, 5900 South Biscayne Drive, North Port.