John F. Connors III, 85, professor

John F. Connors III
John F. Connors III
Posted: October 11, 2012

John F. Connors III, 85, of Merion, a sociology professor at La Salle University for 55 years, died Thursday, Oct. 4, at home of an apparent asthma attack.

Mr. Connors began teaching sociology at La Salle in 1955 and was described by his colleagues as a good professor who demanded the most of his students.

"There was always a group of students waiting outside of his office for help," said Finn Hornum, who chaired the department of sociology, social work, and criminal justice for a time while Mr. Connors taught at La Salle.

Mr. Connors also served as president of the Pennsylvania Sociological Society from 1972 to 1973, according to the society's website, and was chairman of La Salle's department of sociology, social work, and criminal justice from 1985 to 1988.

Mr. Connors taught until May 2010, after which he continued conducting research. His daughter Sara said he most recently was working on a project studying the correlation between racial attitudes and religion.

His wife, Anna, died in 1970, which left Mr. Connors with five children to raise on his own. He never remarried. His daughter said that at the time of their mother's death, the children were all between 6 and 12 years old.

Sara Connors said that some of her siblings were challenging in their teenage years, but that they were grateful for their father.

"He was devoted to his family and he made it work," she said. "He was very proud of his children, and we're grateful to him."

Mr. Connors was born in Chester, and he earned his bachelor's degree from Mount St. Mary's University in Maryland before earning his Ph.D. in sociology from the Catholic University of America.

As a student, Mr. Connors became involved with the civil rights movement and participated in the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s march on Washington in 1963.

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Connors is survived by sons Joseph and John; daughters Maria and Joanne; 10 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

Friends and family may call at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, at St. Margaret's Church, 208 N. Narberth Ave., Narberth. The funeral follows at 10:30 a.m. there.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Project HOME Development Department, 1515 Fairmount Ave., Philadelphia 19130.

Sean Carlin can be reached at

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