In Memoriam --
Dr. Thomas J. O'Hare (Staff, Trainer in Austin)
Oct. 22,1937 - March 14, 2017
Those of you who
went through training or worked on staff 1966, 67 or 68 at the U. of TX knew
Tom O'Hare who was the U. of T. staff person who was in charge--I forget
what title he had--but being on staff he was my boss and a fun and caring
person. I've kept in touch with him and his wife Mary over the years.
Visited them once in Austin. They visited here. Always valued his friendship
and grounded perspective on what was important in life. I just heard from
Mary that he passed away suddenly on March 14 and was buried on St.
Patrick's Day. Her address for any who might want it is 2308 Loyola Lane,
Austin, TX 78723. Allan Gall
I will share a
couple of memories. Tom was the project manager for the contract that the U.
of TX had to conduct training for prospective Vs to Turkey in 1966, 67 and
68. The U. had hired me as coordinator for TEFL training on instructions
from PC, I assume. I was not qualified, but those were the days. Staff and
the trainees, of course, remember that in those days, Tom loved to party.
What I will share is that Tom was a great boss and mentor. A terrific
Tom gave me a
list of the ‘experts’ I was to schedule for lectures to the trainees on TEFL.
One was his boss, the chairman of the linguistics department. I found his
presentations irrelevant to teaching English in Turkey. In 1967 his name was
again on the list of presenters, and I told Tom why I did not want to put
him on the schedule. Thinking back, I feel embarrassed that it did not occur
to me to ask Tom if it would be a problem for him if I did not include his
boss. But Tom raised no objection, and I did not schedule his boss. Yes, I
know, there were still many boring and irrelevant lectures—some from me—but
I did what I could—with Tom covering my back!
We took the
trainees to Mexico City for on-the-job training. We did the same in ’67 and
’68. Mexican schools were in session. This was arranged with the Director of
Education for Mexico City, and I was asked to carry and present to her a new
portable Royal Electric Typewriter, which she reportedly coveted, as a thank
you for making our practice teaching there possible. I remember saying to
Tom that I thought this represented a bribe. Thinking back, I don’t know
what I was thinking. A bribe? The woman made this vital part of training
possible! It was a modest thank you gift. Tom’s reaction to mine was simply
to say that he would take care of it. We all learn from good bosses and bad
bosses. Tom was one of the good ones.
later I visited Tom and Mary in Austin and they visited me in DC. They had a
son who worked in the DC area and several grandchildren here. Family was
very important to Tom. His manner made it easy to share even personal
matters. I felt that if we had lived in the same place, we would have been
close friends. I am not a practicing religious person, but Tom was one of
the people who made me acknowledge the strength of faith. His faith. His
commitment to living a Christian life, which to me equally means living a
Muslim life, a Jewish life, a Buddhist life, a spiritual life, an
other-directed life. -- Allan Gall
Oh Allan, the last time I
saw Tom was at your house. Such wonderful memories of 1967 training program
in Austin Lots of love to Mary and family. Mike and Judie Jerald
Mike and I were part of the training staff the summer of 1967. We taught
TEFL to the trainees. I was pregnant with our first child, Pamela, and
because of that I got to fly to Mexico City where the trainees did their
practice teaching, rather than take the long bus ride with everyone else.
Tom and Mary were wonderful “hosts” to all of us staff that summer—good,
good, people Judie Jerald
RIP Tom. :( Peggy Hanson