John H Connor, 81, of New Milford died Oct. 12 in New Milford.

Mr. Connor was born Sept. 13, 1931, in Queens, N.Y.

A native of Forrest Hills, N.Y., he graduated from La Salle Academy in New York City and Manhattan College in the Bronx, N.Y. While at La Salle, Mr. Connor played four years of varsity baseball. Upon graduation from Manhattan College, he served as troop information and education specialist in the U.S. Army Signal Corps at the conclusion of the Korean War.

Mr. Connor decided to "make a difference in corporate America" and began a 40-year career in marketing and sales management in the packaging industry with Reynolds Metals Co. and Jefferson Smurfit Corp.

While at Reynolds, he spearheaded development of unit-dosage packaging for pharmaceuticals, employment of women in the sales force and recyclable packaging for resource recovery and conservation.

He was a longtime participating member of the Sales and Marketing Executive Club of Greater New York.

As a member of the New York Athletic Club for 40 years, Mr. Connor entertained friends and customers while staying in shape to play tennis. An avid tennis player with a strong serve, he enjoyed memberships in tennis clubs in Manhattan, Amagansett, N.Y., and New Milford.

His first love, however, was baseball. He had a love for the game's subtleties and nuances, which he maintained throughout his life and passed on to his sons.

He was also a member of the St. George's Society, the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick in New York City and the New Milford Historical Society.

Mr. Connor was an ardent patron of the arts. As a member of the National Arts Club, he and his artist-wife, Rosemary, enthusiastically supported museums, galleries and benefits throughout the U.S. and Europe.

He loved music; he lived life with a song in his heart, which he often aired on key in full voice. An excellent dancer, he delighted in winning dance contests with Rosemary.

In 2009 Mr. Connor published his autobiography, "John V," for his family. The book exemplified his extraordinary writing skills, as well as his excellent sense of humor, passion for life and love of family.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Connor is survived by two sons: John, and his wife, Paula, of Southlake, Texas; Courtland, and his wife, Allison, of Keller, Texas; three grandchildren, John, Miles and Nora; a sister, Eileen, of Long Beach, N.Y.; and seven nieces and nephews.

A Mass of Christian Burial will take place today (Friday) at 10 a.m. at St. Francis Xavier Church, Route 109, New Milford. Burial will follow at St. Francis Cemetery in New Milford.

The Lillis Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.