John Philip O’Hara, known as Phil, passed away Sunday evening, October 18, at the age of 87, in Brooklyn, Connecticut, with his children at his side. Born May 17, 1933, in Worcester, Massachusetts, Mr. O’Hara was a graduate of the New Hampton School. He earned his Bachelor of Arts at Brown University in 1957 after spending two years serving in the U.S. Army in Korea.
Mr. O’Hara and his wife of 25 years, Patricia, recently moved from Providence, Rhode Island, to the Quiet Corner of northeastern Connecticut. Their continued support of Brown’s musical, theatrical and sports programs were vital to the life Phil and Patricia built in Providence. They were both engaged and active throughout the New England they call home.
Phil retired at the age of 77 as the Director of Student Activities at Brown University. He was a founder of the Brown University Mediation Project and devoted himself to the use of mediation in the Brown and larger Providence communities. Mr. O’Hara was responsible for overseeing the renovation of Faunce House, as well as transforming how the office worked with the student organizations of Brown. Phil loved the students he mentored and the faculty he inspired with his work ethic, as well as his commitment to Brown University.
The younger brother of one of the “New York Poets”, Frank O’Hara, Phil O’Hara was keenly interested in the artwork and exhibitions dedicated to his brother, as well as the Worcester County Poetry Association’s annual Frank O’Hara Prize awarded to Worcester County residents for their original poetry.
Mr. O’Hara spent his life in service to other people which included affiliations with Chicago Youth Centers, the Oak Park, Illinois District 97 Board of Education, as well as the Boy Scouts of America and Troop 16. He loved to travel – especially with his children or to visit his children – Alaska, the Boundary Waters, Illinois, Idaho, and California.
Phil maintained a lifetime relationship with the New Hampton School in New Hampton, New Hampshire, having attended the school in his teens. He served on the Board and served as Chair. More recently, Mr. O’Hara was involved in the search for a new headmaster. The O’Hara Family recently founded the Faculty Prize in English.
Mr. O’Hara was preceded in death by his parents, Katherine Broderick O’Hara and Russell J. O’Hara, his brother, Frank O’Hara, and his daughter, Alison O’Hara Barasa. He is survived by his wife Patricia; his sister, Maureen; and his children, Keith (Dena), Julie, and John (Amy), his two stepsons, Michael and Will Weatherly, as well as his 17 grandchildren and 4 great-granddaughters. Mr. O’Hara will be fondly remembered by his cousin, Jane O’Hara Page and her family, as well as many nephews and nieces.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Gilman Funeral Home and Crematory, 104 Church St. Putnam, CT. 06260. Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic private services will be held on October 22, 2020. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the New Hampton School, 70 Main Street, New Hampton, New Hampshire 03256.
To view John’s Mass of Christian burial please click on the following link https://webcasts.lifetributes.com/1098269