Dr. Thomas J. O’Hare (Staff)

Oct. 22,1937 – March  14, 2017

Thomas J. O’Hare

Dr. Thomas J O’Hare born in Sioux Falls, SD October 22, 1937, went home to God Tuesday morning, March 14, 2017. He is survived by a loving and devoted wife, Mary, son Thomas (Mary Anne), daughters Laine Bradford (David), Francesca Fowler (Keneth), Sheilagh, grandkids Sebastian (fiancée Vernell), Kateri, Kevin, Kieran, Kerry, Kristianna, and Kilian, and many nieces and nephews. Tom taught German at UT for 40 years, also working in Indonesia and Egypt teaching teachers of English. He sat on over 300 dissertation committees, most after retirement for students from The UT Butler School of Music. Staff and students loved him! Tom and Mary attended countless musical recitals there, bringing them both great joy. (We always knew where our parents were!) Remember him for the many repairs and kind deeds he did for so many! He taught his son how to beat alcohol and smoking, and how to fix cars; he taught his daughters the joy of love; and he gave great advice to the grandkids! His gentle soul will be missed, remembered, and celebrated by all. In lieu of flowers go hug your loved ones! And/or donations can be made to the Adoration Sisters Blessed Sacrament Chapel 4105 Ocean Dr Corpus Christi TX 78411. He loved words, he loved puzzles, he loved cribbage, he just LOVED! Memorial mass Friday March 17, at 10 am St Theresa’s Catholic Church 4311 Small Dr 78731, burial at 3:32 pm Eloise Woods 115 Northside Ln Cedar Creek 78612.

Published in Austin American-Statesman from Mar. 16 to Mar. 17, 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.   — 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 person. 

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.

Many years 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

Association of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and Friends of Turkey