Friends eulogize Ryan student hit by car

Timothy Con­nors died near the high school on May 17. His fath­er thanked stu­dents for their out­pour­ing of love.

The grief over last week’s death of Timothy Con­nors stretched from Port Rich­mond to the Far North­east as class­mates and oth­ers re­called a friendly and prom­ising teen­ager.

“It’s really sad,” said Jes­sica Kow­al­ski, who at­ten­ded school with Timmy, as he was known, at Our Lady of Port Rich­mond Ele­ment­ary School and Arch­bish­op Ry­an High School.

“The day after was so de­press­ing. We had grief coun­selors, and we were re­min­is­cing and talk­ing about Tim.”

Timmy, a 15-year-old fresh­man, died on the af­ter­noon of May 17, a Tues­day, after be­ing hit by a car on Academy Road, out­side Ry­an. The po­lice de­part­ment’s ac­ci­dent in­vest­ig­a­tion di­vi­sion said he was try­ing to cross busy Academy Road at about 3:25 p.m. when he was hit by a Su­zuki be­ing driv­en north­bound. He suffered severe head and body trauma, and a his­tory teach­er per­formed CPR un­til a res­cue squad ar­rived. The boy, who re­ceived last rites, died of his in­jur­ies at 4:10 p.m. at Aria Hos­pit­al-Tor­res­dale Cam­pus.

The driver re­mained at the scene and was not im­paired. No charges have been filed.

Timothy Owen Con­nors is sur­vived by his par­ents, Geor­gette and Mar­tin; sib­lings Alaina, Char­lotte and Dillon; and grand­par­ents, aunts, uncles, cous­ins and friends. Con­tri­bu­tions in his memory can be made to the Timothy Con­nors Me­mori­al Schol­ar­ship, 11201 Academy Road, Phil­adelphia, PA 19154.

Timmy, who lived on Agate Street near Al­legheny Av­en­ue, loved design­ing com­ic books, writ­ing stor­ies, spend­ing time with fam­ily and friends and en­joy­ing all things Spi­der­m­an. He typ­ic­ally took the SEPTA Route 20 bus to the Frank­ford Trans­port­a­tion Cen­ter, then the 25 bus.

On the night of his death and the even­ing af­ter­ward, Ry­an stu­dents and oth­ers held vi­gils in his memory. The school sign reads, “You are an an­gel Tim.” There’s a me­mori­al ear the school’s north en­trance, near the ac­ci­dent scene, that in­cludes an Amer­ic­an flag, flowers, candles and a sign with the mes­sage “RIP Tim Con­nors. Gone but nev­er for­got­ten.”

On Fri­day morn­ing, Bish­op Mi­chael J. Fitzger­ald cel­eb­rated a Mass at Ry­an, and Timmy’s par­ents were in at­tend­ance. The boy’s pic­ture was dis­played on two over­head pro­ject­ors with the words “Rest in the Peace of Christ Timothy Con­nors.” Fitzger­ald urged the 1,780 Ry­an stu­dents and staff mem­bers to live the gift of life with a pur­pose.

The Rev. Joseph T. Shen­osky, the school min­is­ter, de­livered the homily, speak­ing of a friendly young man who liked com­puter games, ac­tions movies, pizza and Dor­i­tos.

“What a gift that Timothy Con­nors was to us,” he said.

After the Mass, Mar­tin Con­nors ad­dressed the stu­dents.

“I’ve seen noth­ing but an out­pour­ing of love from you kids,” he told them.

Con­nors en­cour­aged the stu­dents to act on their ini­tial plan to sell wrist­bands and T-shirts to raise money for Timmy’s schol­ar­ship fund.

“I might have lost my son on Tues­day, but I feel I gained a mul­ti­tude of chil­dren these last few days,” he said. “I’ve felt noth­ing but love from you kids. God bless you all.”

Sis­ter Frances Ant­oinette, Timmy’s sev­enth-peri­od re­li­gion teach­er, re­membered a smart oy who liked to ask and an­swer ques­tions and carry a load of books from class to class.

At the end of class, he’d say, “Good­bye, Sis­ter Frances. Have a nice day.”

“Timmy was a very warm-hearted boy,” she said.

The teach­er re­called him as funny, a smile of­ten on his face. His desk re­mains va­cant.

“Spir­itu­ally, he’s still with us,” she said.

A fu­ner­al Mass for Timmy was held on Sat­urday morn­ing at Nativ­ity of Our Lord Church on Al­legheny Av­en­ue. The Rev. An­thony Orth, a former pas­tor at Nativ­ity, re­turned to give the homily on Timmy’s life.

“He was a nice, in­no­cent, good young man,” he said.

Ry­an Eng­lish teach­er Tom Emore spoke of a stu­dent who liked to laugh and love, and the in­struct­or urged those in at­tend­ance to do the same in Timmy’s memory. He’s prob­ably already us­ing God’s com­puter, the teach­er said.

To show Timmy’s con­cern for oth­ers even at a young age, Emore re­coun­ted a trip the boy took to New York in the af­ter­math of the 2001 ter­ror­ist at­tacks. The then-6-year-old ap­proached a po­lice of­ficer who stood guard where the World Trade Cen­ter towers once stood.

“I’m sorry you lost your friends,” he told the cop, who fought back tears.

Mem­bers of the 2010 Our Lady of Port Rich­mond gradu­at­ing class presen­ted Timmy’s par­ents with a cer­ti­fic­ate doc­u­ment­ing that a star in the sky has been named in his memory.

Timmy at­ten­ded Nativ­ity’s school from pre-kinder­garten through sixth grade, mov­ing to Our Lady of Port Rich­mond for sev­enth and eight grade after a neigh­bor­hood con­sol­id­a­tion of Cath­ol­ic schools.

Emma Het­rick, a fresh­man at Frank­lin Towne Charter, gradu­ated with Timmy from Our Lady of Port Rich­mond. One of the fond­est times she shared with him was her 14th birth­day party.

“We got him to dance, and he had a blast,” she said.

Vince Madle will miss his former ele­ment­ary and high school class­mate. “He was a good kid,” he said. “He was funny and had a lot of po­ten­tial.” ••

Re­port­er Tom War­ing can be reached at 215-354-3034 or twar­

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