'Paddle-out' memorial honors Tempe drowning victim - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

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'Paddle-out' memorial honors Tempe drowning victim

Posted: Updated:
Tempe Town Lake April 20 (Source: KPHO-TV) Tempe Town Lake April 20 (Source: KPHO-TV)
Joseph O'Connor (Source: KPHO-TV) Joseph O'Connor (Source: KPHO-TV)
Crowd gathers to pay tribute April 28 (Source: KPHO-TV) Crowd gathers to pay tribute April 28 (Source: KPHO-TV)
PHOENIX (CBS5) -

The Valley's boating community held a "paddle out" memorial Sunday for a Tempe city employee who drowned in Tempe Town Lake April 20.

The victim was 56-year-old Joseph O'Connor.

"Our family is very moved by everyone reaching out to us from the lake and Tempe family," Peggy O'Connor said Sunday, her voice cracking with emotion.

Witnesses reported seeing O'Connor struggling in the water around 9 a.m. They told authorities that the person slipped out of sight and did not come to the surface again.

Tempe police officers and firefighters responded but weren't able to find the man.

Police Sgt. Mike Pooley said the fire department's dive team found the man's body later that afternoon.

Pooley says O'Conner fell into the lake and there does not appear to be any foul play.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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