John ‘Johnny’ David Connors (1933—2018)
ST. FRANCIS, Maine — John ‘Johnny’ David Connors, 84, died on March 24, 2018, in Fort Kent, Maine.
John was born on July 13th, 1933, in Allagash, Maine, the son of James Connors and Rose (McBreairty) Connors. He was lovingly raised, from a very young age, by his paternal grandparents, David John Connors and Mary (O’Leary) Connors in St Francis. He loved spending time with his grandfather in his workshop, learning about their rich history, hearing tales of the woods, and studying the craft of boat building. He cherished “Mum” and her gentle ways.
John attended school in St Francis and Fort Kent High School. He served his country in the National Guard and United States Army. John met his sweetheart and wife of 55 years, Carol (McBreairty) Connors, and raised their daughter, Nicki, and son, David John, born on his birthday, in St Francis.
John designed and built several sawmills in the area. He was employed by Woodlands Improvement Corp. and ultimately worked for Irving Corporation for most of his career. He had a broad understanding of the woods and sawmill industry, pioneered equipment for mechanized production, and devoted decades of his life to the company.
John had profound love, deep respect, and endless knowledge for the history of the Valley and all who came before him. He built several replica “River Drivers”, known as batteaux. He meticulously restored antique tractors and a steam Lombard log hauler. He could customize or fabricate anything.
John researched genealogy with a passion and studied history, most notably, the Civil War. He traveled to Gettysburg and toured the battle grounds enough to “smell the smoke of battle”. John was always ready to go to music festivals with his fiddle, to play and reconnect with like-minded friends. He enjoyed festivals along the coast of Maine and Canada. All who knew him enjoyed his story telling, sense of humor, and warm smile.
John was a member of the American Legion and life member of the Fort Kent Masonic Lodge. He attended St. Paul’s Congregational Church. He was also a guest speaker on historical topics at the University of New England, Portland, and the American Folk Festival in Bangor.
Johnny is survived by his wife, Carol Connors, daughter, Nicki Connors and son-in-law, Jon McCormack, son, David Connors and partner, Faith Wilson, granddaughter, Kaley Rae Fellows, his loving brothers and sisters, Keith Connors, Roland Connors, Shirlee Connors-Carlson, and Una Connors, several cousins and nieces and nephews, and many dear friends.
As John wished, there will be no wake or funeral service. A burial will be arranged this spring along with a memorial. Details will be announced as they become available.