Edward O’Connor’s life during Flannery’s childhood is a familiar one of the age. Finding sustainable work during the Depression frequently proved difficult, and traveling to and from jobs was part and parcel of Edward’s life. Such is the familiar story of the father whose role in providing for his family entails some time apart from his loved ones. He found himself working in Atlanta and came to Milledgeville to be with Regina and Flannery in his final months. Lupus claimed Edward’s life on February 1, 1941, not long after his 45th birthday. His grave sits in Milledgeville’s Memory Hill, alongside Regina’s and Flannery’s.
And thus on this hot, sunny Sunday at Andalusia we celebrate the life of a man who likely didn’t spend a great deal of time here outside of a few special occasions. What he did offer is the hope of every good father: a legacy. I think he’d be gratified beyond measure to know that it’s a literary giant. Those of us here can only offer our thanks and a Happy Fathers’ Day.