OTEGO – Margaret E. Ann O’Hara passed away peacefully Nov. 28, 2020, after living a long, healthy and wonderful life.
She was born in New Haven, Conn., on May 24, 1920, on the heels of the Spanish Flu pandemic. Her family moved to Oneonta when she was young. Her parents supported and encouraged her love of dance and music and at the age of 14 she became a very well-known dance instructor throughout the area.
Margaret owned two different dance studios in Oneonta, teaching ballet, tap and jazz for many years. After her retirement, she found herself assisting with the theatrical productions at Unatego Central School and a few local theater groups.
Margaret met the love of her life, Thomas Patrick O’Hara of Otego, and they were married in 1943 just before his deployment in World War II.
They had three sons, Thomas, Timothy and Terrance and moved to a farmhouse on Briar Creek Road, Otego in 1962.
Along with raising her sons, with her love of nature, she raised two orphaned fawns, nursing them with bottles in the living room until they were able to live on their own. It was not uncommon to see chickadees and butterflies landing on her finger for a treat, or hummingbirds flying by to say hello and letting her know she needed to refill their feeder.
She always had a dog at her side and sometimes would take in a stray cat. There was always a huge vegetable garden and hollyhocks adorning the farm. For many years, Margaret and Tom grew hundreds of gladiolus and people came from miles around just to buy a bouquet from their roadside stand.
She was known to her friends as Peg, or Peggy, and she often shared many fun adventures and photos that she loved to reflect upon – trips to Florida, time spent on their motor boat and the many parties and picnics they hosted at their homes in Oneonta and Otego.
To her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she was known as Mimi, and she loved to teach and share with them the important things in life: How to dance, how to play the piano and appreciate music, how to tell a good joke, how to lose and how to win at several card and board games, how to enjoy and appreciate nature, and most of all how to smile and enjoy life.
To her many nieces and nephews, Aunt Peg loved to be around them and watch them grow up and eventually share a rye and Coke with them. Most everyone in the family has something from her that she fondly made for them, whether it be a knit hat, mittens or blanket, crochet Christmas Angel or ornament, painting, stuffed doll or animal- she was always making something creative with her hands.
While the family is sad about her passing, we are blessed to have had her in our lives for so long. She was what one would call a “real character”, quick with her witty responses and a smile. She taught us to enjoy our time here on earth and to have no regrets.
Margaret is survived by her son, Timothy O’Hara of Cliffside Park, N.J., and daughter in-law, Cindy O’Hara (Terrance) of Otego; grandchildren, Capri (Anthony) Taibi, Timothy O’Hara, Patrick (Silvia) O’Hara, Christie O’Hara, Holly O’Hara, Kelly O’Hara, Conor (Alley) O’Hara, Casey O’Hara, Grady O’Hara and Maggie Hudson, and her 15 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Sadly, she was predeceased by her husband, Thomas Patrick O’Hara, and sons, Terrance Oakly and Thomas Patrick Jr.
During the last few years of Peggy’s life, the family was fortunate to have assistance with her care from many special people whom we have great gratitude towards. There are many, but the family gives special thanks to Linda Dickerson and Karen Schaffer for their never-ending love and support. They were there and with her during times we could not be, so Thank You.
A celebration of her life will be held at a later date when it is safe to gather. Arrangements have been entrusted to Oneonta’s only family-owned funeral home, Lewis, Hurley & Pietrobono at 51 Dietz St.. www.lhpfuneralhome.com