James E. O'Connor III, age 66, passed away on March 11, 2020 in Knoxville, TN after a battle with cancer. Known as "Jimbo" by family and childhood friends, he grew up in Fountain City and graduated from Central High School in 1971. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Tennessee. Jim attended UT College of Law and was admitted to the bar in May 1980.
Jim was a lifelong member and Elder of Shannondale Presbyterian Church. He was devoted to his church and all that it is. He maintained a multi-faceted career using his background in law to acquire and manage rental housing. His great love, however, was music and sharing that gift with others. Jim was a well-known accomplished pianist. He played many and varied venues spanning five decades. From the original Corner Lounge to his last performance at Club LeConte, the staff and patrons became like family. Jim took particular delight in playing for special family occasions.
He was preceded in death by his father, James E. O'Connor Jr. and his mother, Charlotte Tipton O'Connor. He is survived by his wife, Lisa; daughter, Shannon, daughter, Sarah and her mother, Janet (Lyle) Gervin; sister, Helen (Sterchi) Morton and their children, Sterchi Jr., Camlin (Kelly), Christa (Taylor) Ross and Carrie. He also leaves his father and mother-in-law, James and Gail Cochrane; brother-in-law, Jamie Cochrane of Rochester, NY and special cousins whose love he has treasured throughout his life. His family extends many thanks to the staff of UT Oncology and inpatient hospice.
There will be a Celebration of Life at Shannondale Presbyterian Church, 4600 Tazewell Pk., Knoxville, TN 37918 on Saturday, March 14, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. with Rev. Stephen Mealor officiating. Visitation will immediately follow in the church fellowship hall.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Shannondale Presbyterian Church. Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel is honored to serve the O'Connor family and invites you to view and sign the online registry at www.gentrygriffey.com.
I just learned my good friend
Passed while I blinked, yes blink and everything changes. I want to express my condolences to Jim’s wonderful family. May God keep you in his grip and guide and comfort you as only He can.
I will miss Jim very much. Working with Jim was always a fun experience for he was an accomplished pianist and always played from his heart with soul, finesse and true love for all genres of music. He must have memorized thousands of tunes and
he genuinely loved playing piano
which made working with him more
fun than we should have been allowed to have while working! This Man was no doubt a great father and husband and God Love You I know you all are hurting but please remember Jim’s calming way and hold onto those times when he looked you strait in the eyes and said something like “ you know, you are such a good person and I’m certain you will come through this tough time and all will be good again.” Jim had this coolness that made everyone feel comfortable when he was around and I for one loved this about him, he was a great friend , great player and was always interested in how things were going in whatever world each of us lived in. My final word is simply; wonderful , he was a wonderful person !
Marty Llewellyn, drummer, friend and admirer. Rest In Peace my friend Jim O’Connor. I hope to see you again some fine day and let’s play a couple of tunes. Much love and respect, I will miss you very much my brother in Christ.
Jimbo and I did a lot together. We went to UT together, worked out together, doubled dated, took trips together and he introduced me to my wife of in 1973. We always stayed intouch even when I spend years working overseas. Few people had a greater love of life and the fun of interaction with friends and family. Jimbo you will be sorely missed on this earth. However, heaven will be a better place with you there. I know we will meet again.
Jim has been an outstanding piano player at Club LeConte over the years and I have so much appreciated his playing.
I last saw him on Valentines day at Club LeConte and snapped a photo with him and a rose in his mouth.
He was always cheerful and smiling regardless of his health.
He will be sorely missed.
I met Jimmy back in the 1970's at Harold Long's Karate studio and later sang in a band with him off and on through the 70's and early 80's. He was a brilliant piano player and the kindest soul you would ever hope to meet. I wish I had stayed in touch with him over the years and will miss him forever. I always look back on my time working with him as one of the best times of my life. God bless you my friend. Vickie Lawson
I can recall very early memories of the O'Connor family back when Shannnondale had a sizable congregation. I'm sorry to say that I hadn't seen Jimbo in many many years. Like so may others have said, he was always one of the most friendly people that you could meet as well as being so talented. I'm very sorry to hear of his passing. Wayne Stormer
Jim was a light to the world. He lit up a room. He made your day better. He made the world a better place. My life was made better for having known him. I am so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you.Judge
We met Jim at Club LeConte 7 years ago. We immediately became friends. My husband and I were married there and Jim played piano at our reception. He was so kind and caring. We always enjoyed going to the Club when we knew he would be there. He knew our favorite song, What a Wonderful World, and would always play it for us. We last saw Jim on Valentine’s Day and enjoyed our time with him as always. It was a blessing to have known him. He will be sorely missed. We loved him so.
Dave and Terri Corey
We were so very fortunate to have known Jim, his sweet smile, his gentle spirit, and his music. Our deepest sympathy to his family as they begin to figure out how to go forward without him.
Dale and Janelle Honeycutt
Jim shared a name with my Dad. He was such a nice and happy go luck guy. He played music for and with my young daughter. She says he was a piano man. He also helped me with my Dad's terminal diagnosis. He helped me realize that time was running out for both of them and to enjoy what was left as he did. He was such a comfort to talk and many times to for hours after our club poker games with he ate his plates of food. I know he'll be missed by many and most of all by his beautiful family. He's no longer is fighting but flying now so rest easy Jim!!
I first met my friend jimbo 7 yrs ago when I joined club leconte. His smile and his wisdom where a refreshing and energizing beam for me. Jim, thank you for being a great friend and person. You truly were a man of GOD and I enjoyed seeing your face and hearing play every time I visited the club. I'm going to miss you my dear friend. I thoroughly enjoyed all our conversations and debates over many a topics. Until we meet again my friend. I'll be listening to hear you play in the clouds and tell Tommy I said hey and miss him as well. You 2 are back together again.
My dear friend "Jimbo" thank you for a great friendship and the kindness you showed me and all the members and staff at club leconte. I'm going to miss our talks and that perfect smile you have us every day you were there. I pray GODs blessings upon your family and until we meet again my dear friend, your voice and music will ring on in my memories.
Chief Curtis Brown
Board of Governors
I first met Jim in 2006 when I came to Club LeConte as Club Manager. Over the ensuing 13 years Jim & I had hundreds of opportunities to visit and get to know each other. Jim was an incredible man. Loved by everyone. Jim was also an extreemly talented musician. Jim absolutely "made" the dining experience at the club. He knew all of the members and would play familiar tunes as they arrived. Sunday Brunch was not Sunday Brunch with out Jim. Easter, Mothers Day, Santa Brunch, New Years Eve, wine dinners, special events, weddings, birthdays, anniversaries were all events that Jim made extra special at the club. Jim was very worldly and could converse on any topic. I truly enjoyed the many conversations Jim and I had before and after dinner service. My daughter Julianne was close to Jim also and the two enjoyed many meals together at the end of the evening. Club LeConte will not be the same without Jim. Our world was brightened by his being a part of it and will be dimmed by his passing. Say hello to Tommy for me when you get to Heaven Jim. You will be missed.
I have so much respect and memories of Jim. Singing with his accompaniment was always so pleasant and easy to groove. Enjoying some of the same music madecit even more delightful. HE was always so respectable and a wonderful person and will be missed by so many. It isn’t fair that he had to suffer this way and have his life ended so early. Rest In Peace dear friend. I will always remember you!
Gonna miss that smile Jimbo... Dudley
I have known Jimbo since the 3rd grade. I played music with him since the 70's.
Goodbye old friend, I know we will see each other again someday.
My deepest condolences to the family.
Lisa, Shannon, Sarah and Family my heart breaks for the loss of your beloved “Jimbo”. May God surround you with his love and guidance during this difficult time. Love and prayers, Aunt Joan
My deepest sympathy to all of Jim's family. He played at my wedding reception over thirty years ago and was amazing. May warm memories bring peace and comfort to all of his family and friends
Jim had to be one of the best men that my family and I have ever met. He was so compassionate towards everyone. He loved to talk and share his experiences. He is definitely going to be missed by so many. He was a definate blessing to us! God needed a new angel.
Jim was a great man. I loved that he always took the time to show interest in any conversation we had regardless of the topic. I always got a smile seeing that Cadillac going down Tazewell pike. From walking at the Central track to sharing stories at Chick-fil-A, , and warning me about the dangers of teaching Sarah how to drive, I will remember those times forever. He was a genuine man and will be missed by all who had the honor of knowing him. Rest In Peace old friend.
I'm going to miss this piano man an friend. Gregory Mittleider gackle ND.
WE knew Jimbo from church however my wife knew him as a child . One of the most friendly person I have known --always upbeat and never gave up . A great musician that I know was appreciated by everyone . I wish I had got to know him better . Our prayers are with the family
Brad and Starr Suneson
Jimbo was a great guy. We were classmates for 12 years and shared a lot of laughs. He was not only smart but also quite an accomplished pianist. His gorgeous blue eyes and smile would light up any room. He will be missed by all. Fond memories, Cathy Ford
There will never be another Mr Jim. He had the biggest heart and would give someone the shirt off his back. I have worked for him since 2014 and he became my best friend. He will be missed greatly an life won't be the same without him. My prayers go out to the family during this time of sorrow. R.I.P Mr Jim
PhotosAdd a photo
Knoxville, TN, United States 37918
Celebration Of Life
Knoxville, TN, United States 37918
Healing Registry Unavailable at the Moment!