Donald G. OHara

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Donald G. O'Hara

June 30, 1930 - October 09, 2018

Donald G. OHara It is with great sadness that the family of Lieutenant Colonel Donald Gerald O'Hara announces his passing on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, at the age of 88 years. "The Colonel" will be heartbreakingly missed and lovingly remembered by his family and friends including his children: Kevin (Kim) O'Hara, Meghan (Jamie) O'Hara, Kathleen (Toby) Marvin, and Sean (Andrea) O'Hara; grandchildren: Jason, Jennifer, Kelly, Katie, Conor, Liam, Cullen, Ian, Lindsey; great-grandchildren: Savanah & Madison; and his brother Edward (Barb). He will also be missed by his relatives and many dear friends, especially his loving companion, Betty Snider. He was preceded in death by his parents, Edward & Catherine O'Hara; his sister, Patty Rodgers; and his wife, Connie O'Hara.
Don graduated from Lincoln High School in Ellwood City, after having an outstanding athletic career since sixth grade. While in high school, he lettered for three years in both basketball and football, was the captain of the football team during his senior year and also the captain of the basketball team for his junior and senior years. "Duke" became Ellwood City's Outstanding Athletic Personality for 1947-48.
Don was offered a full football scholarship at Penn State College, and at that time following WWII all freshman were required to play at California State College of Pennsylvania their first year. Don decided not to move to Penn State (because they wouldn't pay for his books) and completed his athletics and studies at Cal State. While there he lettered all four years in both football and basketball, was the captain of both teams for his junior and senior years and was the first Vulcan to reach the 1,000-point plateau. While at Cal State, he played in the 1951 Pythian Bowl, and even though they lost the game 13-6, Don scored the only touchdown for Cal. He also lettered two years in baseball. He graduated in 1952 and was inducted into the California University Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996.
After graduation from Cal with a degree in secondary education, Don enlisted in the Air Force because he said that he wanted to "save the world for democracy." His military career lasted over 25 years of enlisted and officer service. During those years he earned a Masters of Education from Auburn University, and received many outstanding honors including: an Air Medal with three clusters, a Meritorious Service Medal with one cluster, a Commendation Medal with two clusters, a Joint Services Commendation Medal and a Presidential Citation. Don retired from the Air Force after serving as a B-47 pilot including 10 years in Strategic Air Command, B-36 navigator/bombardier, diplomat to Sweden, professor of aerospace studies at Allegheny College, and Commander of the Air Force Junior ROTC at McDowell High School in Erie, PA for the final 13 years of his career.
Whether known as Dad, The Colonel, Duke, Don or Grandpa, his legacy will live forever because of his innate ability to make you feel as if you were the most important person in the world. He had a profound impact on many, many lives.
Burial, with full military honors, will be held at Arlington National Cemetery at a date still to be determined. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made in Lt. Col. Donald G. O'Hara's name to Capital Caring Hospice, Wounded Warrior, or the US Air Force Association.
The family would like to especially thank The Villa of Suffield Meadows in Warrenton, VA, for taking such good care of their father this past year.
Published on October 23, 2018
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9 posts

Nick and Kathy Nardone
Oct 30, 2018
Kevin, Meghan, Kathy and Sean,
Our deepest sympathies on the passing of your father. What great memories of him at the Allegheny College football games, and visiting you all at your house. You all are in our thoughts and prayers.

Nick and Kathy Nardone
Yvonne Kelyman
Oct 28, 2018
The Colonel was a such a nice man. He and Connie would always wave and greet you with a friendly hello. Condolences to the O’Hara family. Yvonne and Paul Kelyman
Kathie and Gordon Miller
Oct 28, 2018
Super guy, interesting life, greatly gave back. Deepest sympathy to his family, especially Sean
Bimmer and Patty
Oct 28, 2018
We were so sorry to read about The Colonel. What a wonderful, kind and fun neighbor he was...Always had a big grin, and clothes and hair perfect!! Please know our thoughts,
Prayers and love will be with you all.
The Colonel’s best job was that he raised 4 wonderful children and had an amazing super wife. Our hearts are with your family.... love Always
To an outstanding family and best neighbors...😘💕🙏
Robin Davis
Oct 27, 2018
Love this man! Always had words of wisdom. He and Con were a big party of my younger years. “The Colonel” will live on in all the great memories we have of him.... love to the wonderful O’Hara family
Terry and Linda Hasenkopf
Oct 27, 2018
Kevin, Meg, Kathy, Sean and all the family. We are so sorry for your loss. Don was such a good man. His greetings were always with his beautiful smile and kind words. Many memories of him supporting his children, community, church, etc. He will be missed.
William Harry
Oct 25, 2018
Sorry for your loss. I never knew your father but to know you allow us to have a glimpse into the man he was. our deepest condolences.
Cindy Dawson
Oct 24, 2018
Our sympathies to the O'Hara family. The Colonel was a wonderful neighbor. He gave me purple irises from his yard the first year we moved into "Green Acres". 23 years later they still bloom every spring and I think of him.
The Dawson family
D King
Oct 24, 2018
I would like to express my deepest sympathy to the family. During this difficult time, God is near to those that are broken at heart, and those who are crushed in spirit He saves. Psalms 34:18.