Monday, June 5, 2023

John Michael O’Hare, 90, of Williamsburg

John Michael O’Hare (Nelsen Williamsburg)

John Michael O’Hare was born in Kansas City, MO on April 4, 1932 to an immigrant Irish father, Dennis Hehir and a Boston-born mother, Mary “Molly” Normile. He grew up in a traditional Irish home with three older sisters Jo, Mickey and Alice, and a younger brother, D.J.

John attended Rockhurst High school and earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Rockhurst University. He received his Juris Doctor in 1960 from the University of Missouri and was admitted to the Missouri State Bar in 1961. In 1953 he married the love of his life, Margaret Karene Kennedy. His first daughter, Mary Pamela was born while he was stationed in Germany after being drafted. While in Europe, John visited his ancestral homeland and met his father’s large Irish family in Co. Clare. This would prove to be a life-long passion for John. Another daughter, Patricia Ann arrived in 1956, the year that John was hired by the Bendix Aviation Corporation, where he worked for the next 35 years, ultimately serving as the Vice President of Human Resources.

1958 saw the birth of John and Karene’s first son, Michael Dennis and in 1962, their second son Denis Patrick was born. In 1964, John was sent east by Bendix to Southfield, Michigan. In 1966, their third daughter, Kathleen Michelle was born.

John was once again on the move in 1984 when he and Karene were transferred to Vienna, VA. In 1989, John retired from his professional career but certainly didn’t stop working. He and Karene moved to Williamsburg VA where John continued to work as a consultant.

John was a man always in motion and he loved to travel, whether it was camping in Nova Scotia, a family reunion in Ireland or sailing trips to Turkey and Greece.

In 2008, Karene died after battling Ovarian Cancer. In the wake of this devastating challenge, John created the Karene O’Hare Tortoise and Hare Ovarian Cancer Run. Its mission was to fight Ovarian Cancer by helping to underwrite the Ovarian Cancer Programs offered by the Lackey Free Clinic and the Olde Towne Medical and Dental Center.

John married Nancy Weston Wells in 2009 and the family welcomed Nancy and her two wonderful daughters, Sarah and Debbie. As a devout Catholic, John believed that faith without works is meaningless. He spent endless hours volunteering with organizations such as the Lackey Clinic, the Williamsburg AIDS network, the Kiwanis Club of Williamsburg, and St. Bede’s Catholic Church. His legacy is one of community service.

John was a loyal, dependable, and organized ‘ball of fire’. He required almost no sleep and created endless TO DO lists on legal yellow pads. He asked much from those around him but he gave much in return.

In March 2022, his wife Nancy Weston O’Hare passed away at the Landing in Williamsburg, VA the same facility that John moved to in December 2021. Even at the end, as a resident of Memory Support at the Landing, John continued to make friends and impress all with his restless energy, walking the halls endlessly while shouting out “Hello! Hello!” to all he encountered. John died peacefully on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, surrounded by his loving family.

John is survived by his daughters Mary Pamela Boerner (Brad) and Pat Cannon (Rick); his sons Michael O’Hare (Lindy) and Denis O’Hare (Hugo); his grandchildren Colleen, Kelly, Katelyn, Meghan, Patrick and Declan; his great-grandchildren Evelyn, Bronson and Calvin; and his step-daughters Sarah Wells and Debbie Wells.

Visitation with light refreshments will be held on Sunday, May 15th from 4 – 6 p.m. at the Nelsen Funeral Home, 3785 Strawberry Plains Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23188.

Funeral services for John will be held on Monday, May 16th at 3:00 p.m. at St. Bede Catholic Church, 3686 Ironbound Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23188. Light refreshments.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in John’s name to the following organizations that were important to him; Lackey Clinic (; Olde Towne Medical and Dental Center ( or Everytown for Gun Safety (

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at for the O’Hare family.

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