Robert O'Conor Jr.

June 22, 1934 - June 5, 2023
Robert   O’Conor Jr. thumbnail
Fred Dickey Funeral & Cremation Services
Peter Hagist (father) Light a candle


Robert O’Conor, Jr., lovingly called Bob by his friends, was born into a Hollywood lifestyle in Los Angeles on June 22, 1934. His father, Robert O’Conor owned three film production companies in Los Angeles and worked as an actor in the Silent Film era. Bob famously reported that his father made Westerns when he should’ve made comedies, and made comedies when he should’ve made melodramas, thereby ending their run in Los Angeles and returning to the O’Conor family’s roots in Laredo, Texas, when Bob was twelve years old.

In Laredo, Bob was known for plying a Mariachi band from its Nuevo Laredo bar to play “La Bamba” repeatedly in the trunk of his car. He formed friendships with all the familiar Laredo names of his time, with whom he remained friends until they died. After graduating from Martin High School in Laredo (go Tigers!), he attended both college and law school at The University of Texas. He loved tennis and played competitively in both high school and college, where he played on UT’s freshman team. He proudly sang bass on UT’s Men’s Choir and wrote for UT’s satirical periodical, The Texas Ranger. At UT, he learned to become a world champion coffee drinker, his favorite beverage. After graduating with his law degree, Bob served in the U.S Army as a Captain and JAG Officer, a Remington Raider, as he called it.

Upon completing his commitment to active duty, Bob returned to Laredo and took pride in trying over 300 criminal cases to not-guilty verdicts and also handled civil trials.  After his unsuccessful political campaign for Webb County’s District Attorney, Bob switched political parties and eventually became Webb County’s Republican Party Chairman and also served on the Texas State Republican Executive Committee.  He later served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention.  He established Webb County’s Young Republicans and worked tirelessly to convert voters to his party, a tough task in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

In 1975, Bob was appointed as a United States District Judge for the Southern District of Texas by President Gerald Ford. During his time on the bench, he worked to reduce the backlog of federal criminal cases in the Southern District of Texas by riding circuit in Brownsville, Corpus Christi and Houston.  He eventually relocated from Laredo to serve in the Houston Division.  While in Houston, he facilitated the desegregation of the Houston public schools as well the desegregation of the Texas prison system. In 1984, Bob left the bench to return to private practice and to focus on raising his three young children.  He entered a partnership with notable Texas attorney, Jim S. Adler. They enjoyed their practice together, until Bob branched out on his own.  Eventually, his son Bobby joined his practice, fulfilling Bob’s long-standing prophecy that his children would join him in the practice of law.  Bob’s wife Helen attended law school and joined the practice upon her graduation from the University of Houston School of Law, holding down the fort after Bobby’s departure.

Bob enjoyed the company of babies and children and fathered a healthy number of them. Helen Dryden O’Conor, his loving wife, gave him three wonderful children: Cathleen O’Conor Stern, Aileen O’Conor Latcham, and Thomas Edward O’Conor.  His first marriage to Ana Navarrete Ochoa also gave him three wonderful children:  Anne Frances O’Conor (dec., 1980); Robert Daniel O’Conor; and Elizabeth Christine O’Conor. When Bob passed, he had six grandchildren (and hoped for more): Robert Reid O’Conor; Allison Anne O’Conor; Griffin Scott O’Conor; Charlotte Ann Stern; Ethan Robert Stern; and Isabella Ray Latcham. All of Bob’s children and grandchildren were guided by him to go to law school or take voice lessons (because that’s where the money is); however, he only convinced one to actually attend law school, and only a couple ever took voice lessons (no money has been earned by either in their vocal pursuits). His grandkids vowed to consider law school after his death, which all know would make Bob smile proudly.  He aided in successfully fostering an entrepreneurial mindset in his children and taught them that laughter was the greatest gift of life.

Bob lived a full life, doing what he loved. He’d watch his kids and grandchildren interact, and his eyes would well up with pride and joy. His wish was to return to Laredo to be buried among his old friends and family, united once again in spirit. He joins his daughter Annie in the afterlife, who died before her high school graduation after suffering from leukemia. If you choose to honor Judge O’Conor, please do so by making gifts to Make-A-Wish Central & South Texas which helps bring joy to kids with critical illnesses like cancer or make a gift to whatever organization supports cancer research for cancers your family has endured.

The O’Conor family will be receiving guests on Saturday, June 24, 2023, at Fred Dickey Funeral & Cremation Services from 8:00 am to 10:15 am. Funeral procession will follow to Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, where a mass will begin at 11:00 am. Interment will follow to the Calvary Catholic Cemetery.

Funeral arrangements are by Fred Dickey Funeral & Cremation Services, 1320 Trey Dr., Laredo, Texas 78041 (956) 723-3611. For your convenience, you may leave your condolences to the family online at

Leave a Condolence

Service Schedule

Visitation Information

Date: Saturday, June 24, 2023

Time: 8:00 am - 10:15 am

Fred Dickey Funeral & Cremation Services


1320 Trey Dr.
Laredo, Texas 78041

Service Information

Date: Saturday, June 24, 2023

Time: 11:00 am

Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church


2219 Galveston
Laredo, Texas 78043

Cemetery Information

Date: Saturday, June 24, 2023

Calvary Catholic Cemetery


3600 McPherson Ave.
Laredo, Texas 78041


Life Event Timeline

Help tell the story of Robert by contributing to the Life Event Timeline. Upload the photo of an event...

Post an Event

Timeline for Robert O'Conor Jr.

Born: June 22, 1934
Died: June 5, 2023

Condolences for Robert O’Conor Jr.

Fred Dickey Funeral & Cremation Services

Our sincere condolences.

The staff of Fred Dickey Funeral & Cremation Services.


Sher Hughes posted on 6/24/23

My sincerest condolences. We have never met, but I am a descendent of the Dryden family. Prayerfully thinking of Helen and extended family for your loss of what seems to be an extraordinary man. RIP Bob


Adriana Duncan posted on 6/24/23

Dearest Helen: Just came back from funeral. Sorry you were not able to be there. Please accept my condolences. I let several of our classmates know and they are keeping you in their prayers. God bless you. Adriana


Michael and Myra Byrd posted on 6/24/23

What a nice tribute to a great man. We only met him once, but we loved that afternoon with him and his extended family, who had all traveled hundreds of miles for the occasion. Our sincere condolences to the family.


Dena Palermo, U.S. Magistrate Judge posted on 6/21/23

My deepest sympathy to Judge O’Conor’s family. When he was on the bench in Houston, I was a law clerk for Chief Judge Singleton. Judge O’Conor was welcoming and friendly. He was a pleasure to be around. May he rest in peace.


Dan and Genevieve Alfaro posted on 6/20/23

With love and prayers sending you all our sincerest heartfelt condolences in this time of grief and deep sorrow. Judge will be missed. ?? Dan and Staff Law Office of Dan Alfaro, PLLC McAllen, Texas


malcolm venville posted on 6/20/23

Sending condolences to Cathleen and family from Malcolm, Daisy, Woody and Bobby.


Peter Hagist (father) posted on 6/19/23

In memory of Robert O'Conor Jr., Peter Hagist (father) lit a candle


Peter Hagist (father) posted on 6/19/23

What a wonderful life. My condolences to your family and Laredo Texas.


Bonnie Lepovitz posted on 6/19/23

My sincerest condolences On the loss of your father and my Longhorn Friend Bonnie R. Lepovitz


Tasso Triantaphyllis posted on 6/19/23

Judge: May you Rest in Peace! We had some fun times together. Sorry I did not make the early morning tennis game but I am glad you made the Greek Easter lamb roasts! I will miss your telephonic participation in my late night 6 mile walks that made the time pass fast! To Judge's Family: He was a great man and a great friend and I will miss him! I know he is probably laughing at us from above! May he rest in peace!


Oscar Montiel posted on 6/18/23

Mis profundas condolencias a toda la familia, en especial a Elizabeth. Que Dios traiga consuelo y fortaleza en estos dias tan dificiles.