IN MEMORIAM


JOHN O'HARA



John J. O'Hara Sr., 75, a 32-year resident of Chino Hills passed away Wednesday, February 16, 2011 in Loma Linda, California. He was born September 3, 1935 in Brookings, South Dakota. John was a sergeant in the Army from 1955 to 1958. He was a resident of San Diego for 11 years. For 45 years, he was self employed as a manufacturer's representative in the lawn and garden industry and retired in 2003. He was also a member of Knights of Columbus.

John is survived by his wife, Louise of Chino Hills, Daughter, Julie Dudziak of San Diego, Son, John J. O'Hara Jr., of Fontana, Daughter Jennifer Himes of Chino Hills, 10 Grandchildren, and 2 Great Grandchildren. A Visitation will be held 5:00p.m.-8:00p.m. Sunday February 27, 2011, with rosary @ 7:00p.m at Funeraria Del Angel Pierce Brothers Griffith in Chino. A Funeral mass will be held, 11:30a.m. Monday February 28, 2011 at St Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Chino Hills. Interment will follow at Riverside National Cemetery at 1:30 p.m. Contributions may be made in memory of John J. O'Hara Sr. to the V.A. Hospital ?Voluntary Services 135-136 11201 Benton St. Loma Linda, CA 92357.

John O'Hara Leaves a legacy of love behind in his family, friends and faith. He blessed all of us with his life and example. There are so many memories that bring great consolation to those who love John. His capacity to love was matched only by his sense of humor. One of his greatest joys was to entertain his grandchildren, with magic tricks, funny stories, paper airplanes and card games. He had the ability to make everything fun. John had high expectations for his own children, out of wanting nothing but the best for us. As we grew into adulthood, his example of decency, kindness and good humor set a standard to follow in our own lives. We will draw on it for the rest of our lives. John felt that one of his greatest accomplishments in life was his 50-year marriage to our mother Louise. He relied on her not only in his later years when his health proved so limiting, but all through their life together. He spoke often of his love for her and how lost he would be without her. We were all blessed by their example. We are deeply saddened by the loss of our great-grandfather, grandfather, father, and husband, but take much comfort in our wonderful memories and in the great gift he left us in each other.

Visitation Sunday, February 27, 2011 | 5:00p.m. - 8:00p.m. Funeraria Del Angel Pierce Brothers Griffith 13002 S. Central Ave., Chino, California Driving Directions

Rosary Sunday, February 27, 2011 | 7:00p.m. Funeraria Del Angel Pierce Brothers Griffith 13002 S. Central Ave. , Chino, California Driving Directions

Funeral Mass Monday, February 28, 2011 | 11:30a.m. St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church 14085 Peyton Dr., Chino, California Driving Directions


JULIE'S EULOGY

First I would like to thank you all for coming today. In paying your respects to my father, you honor all of us, especially my mother. On behalf of my family, thank you.

If you would indulge me a minute, I'd like to ask you all to do something with me. Please take a very deep breath with me now. (take breath). Feels good, doesn't it? This, unfortunately, is something that in the last few years of his life, my Dad couldn't do. It became a dominant consideration for everything he did in recent years.

But my Dad was so much more than that! We would be doing him a very great disservice if that's all we remember about him.

First and foremost he was a family man. This past October, he and my Mom had the blessing of celebrating 50 years of marriage. That's not to say that it was 50 years of happily-ever-after; our parents have taught us that real, enduring marriage is not just about romantic, hearts and flowers love -- although that was there -- it's about commitment, about better and worse, richer and poorer, sickness and health. In these challenging times, what an example!

Dad was about his kids. Sometimes it was tough to be John O'Hara's child. As a kid I could be resentful, but as an adult I came to realize that Dad wanted the very best for all of us -- happiness, success, love, fulfillment. He and my mom showed us what that looks like. And he left us a legacy, in that all three of us carry a part of Dad with us. John, you have the gift of being truly awesome with kids -- mine adore you -- and as I watched you play Kings on the Corner with Sean last week, I saw that you're great with teens as well. That's a gift, and a testimony to Dad. Jennifer, you are one of the most thoughtful people I've ever known, and your gift of maintaining friendships over years and years, and making connections with people, is something you share with Dad. And me? I can play a mean game of Jeopardy! And that I'm the one up here -- need I say more?

Dad was about his grandkids; I think they were his greatest delight. From the first one, Melissa, who has grown up into such a fine young woman, to Adam, who can turn any hose-or string-like object into a makeshift cannula because he wants to "be like Grandpa," he took great joy. Sean, I will never forget the pride he felt when you were born; even the way he said your name, Sean Joseph, bespoke of how deeply your birth moved him. Ryan, besides that you look just like him, you honor him with your sense of humor and appreciation for the absurd; to the "Himes Gang," as my sister calls her family, he always understood how hard it was for you and I know he's up there putting in a good word with the Big Guy, and tracking down your Mom so he can give her a first-hand account of how you're doing. All of you can honor your grandfather in carrying on his legacy for Katy, Artur, Abby, Elizabeth, Adam and Braeden, who didn't get to have him around as long. Note to the O'Hara boys: Artur is really bummed that Grandpa never got to take him fishing.

Dad was also about his friends. He was always a very social person. When we were kids we used to groan in dismay if he had to stop in at Payless Drugstore while we were with him because it was one of his accounts, and if he ran into one of his clients/friends, we were in for a LONG wait. After church, between periods at a hockey game, and later, when his stamina didn't allow for much more, emails were a source of enjoyment. And Facebook. I'm sure there are many of you out there who share my husband's dislike for it, but Facebook was a way for my Dad to stay connected to his friends when his body was starting to let him down. And he enjoyed the groups he was part of: Knights of Columbus, the Claretians, Serra High School Alumni, and the Wheezer Geezers.

My Dad was also about his faith. At the end it seemed like he was afraid to die, which would make you think maybe his faith wasn't as strong as it looked. But in retrospect, I think that was more about how much he loved life, and as physically diminished as he was at the end, he didn't want to let it go. That's how God wired us, to love and cherish life and all the people in it, and to fight for it. So I think his hanging on was partly that he didn't want to miss out on anything, but also a very great act of faith.

There is so much more I could say in remembrance of my Dad. We all have a John O'Hara story; holding a neighborhood carnival when his mother ordered him to get rid of a smelly bag of starfish he'd collected; they apparently made great prizes; getting Sean to drink the charcoal when he got into the Advil; rug shopping in Blue Jay; temporary deputy O'Hara when a Korean translator was needed; what I like to call The Legend of the Crepe-Soled Shoes. Dad was a character, and he leaves us with many great memories.

I would be completely remiss if I didn't mention everyone in the Pulmonary Rehab program at the VA hospital in Loma Linda. I'm convinced you all have angels' wings hidden beneath your shirts, and please know what a tremendous gift you gave us in helping Dad to live with his condition. Without you, my own kids would not remember him. Whenever you have one of those really bad days when you want to throw in the towel, please remember John O'Hara, and know that you made a huge difference for an entire family.

I'm certain Dad has arrived safely to his next destination, and is chatting up everyone he's met to figure out how they know each other. Now, I'm going to ask you all to take one more deep breath. And know that from his heavenly vantage point, freed from tanks, hoses, concentrators, or a cannula, my Dad is taking one right along with us. (take breath)


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