NEW LISBON – John F Lernihan, father, pharmacist and Oneonta businessman, died on April 29 at home with family, following a long hospitalization.
Born in 1944, to Cmdr. John J. and mother, Margaret Maureen Lernihan, John was raised in Sunnyside and Plainview, graduating from St. Dominic’s High School in Oyster Bay. College summers,
he worked on military transport ships, traveling to England and Germany. During the N.Y. World’s Fair, he drove a Greyhound tram. He went on to graduate from St. John’s University School of
Pharmacy, a member of Delta Sigma Theta fraternity and became a commissioned officer in the United States Public Health Service, serving in Philadelphia with the Food and Drug Administration as an inspector for two years. During this time, he married Carol Kiszkiel, whom he had met in Chemistry class at St. John’s. They were married at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in So. Ozone Park.
Returning to N.Y. in 1968, the couple moved to Coram and then St. James. John worked for Slater’s Pharmacy and Brookhaven Hospital, while completing his master’s degree in Public Health Administration at Stony Brook University (under the GI bill).
In 1976, John and family moved to a small farm in New Lisbon, raising sheep, goats and chickens. John then worked at Rite Aid in Oneonta. In 1981, John and Carol opened Sunshine pRN Medi-Surg on Chestnut St. in Oneonta, now in its 40th year of business. John joined Bassett Healthcare as a pharmacist, working in Cooperstown, Cobleskill, Delhi and Little Falls. He also worked at Delaware Valley Hospital.
John joined the Army Reserves, as a pharmacist, earning the rank of Lt. Colonel after Desert Storm. He worked in many interesting hospitals, including West Point and Walter Reed. In the heat of summer, the family followed him to Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, (camping all the way out and back). Always taking a different route home, they checked off many states and many campgrounds, sometimes culminating with a trip to Canada.
John was an active community member, serving as Caring Connection volunteer at Catholic Charities, NYS Ombudsman at Fox Nursing Home, Parish Council member at Holy Cross Church in Morris, First Night Oneonta volunteer, part of the “New Lisbon Community dinner Group”, member of the Knights of Columbus, American Legion and a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Army Reserves (24 years). He was also a member of the ADK, the Canada Lake Protective Assn., Canadarago Lake Improvement Assn. and the Stewart Landing Assn.
Surviving are his wife of 54 years, Carol, five children; sons, Christopher, John, daughters, Heidi, Gretchen and Jennifer, brother, Peter and sister, Mary Rose Keegan, of Plainview, grandchildren Hershey and Breyer Revolinsky. Besides his parents, he was predeceased by his sister, Nancy. He leaves many cousins and friends.
Funeral Mass was Saturday, May 22 at St. Joseph the Worker Church in Richfield Springs. Burial was at the National Cemetery in Saratoga. Arrangements by J. Seaton McGrath Funeral Home, Richfield Springs.