ONEONTA – How does one even begin to tell the story of someone like Terry and keep it brief? He was born Oct. 28, 1948 in Oneonta, the youngest son of Thomas P. and Margaret A. (Schoeller) O’Hara. He met his wife, Cindy, at Plattekill Mountain and they were married May 26, 1979, in the Jay Gould Memorial Church, Roxbury.
Terry was known for his adventurous spirit, his smile and the glint in his eyes. As a proud Irishman, he was never without a joke to tell, or a story to share. He had patience, was a great listener with compassion and respect for others and he always wanted to make people smile, and – wow – did he know how to be a good friend.
Family meant everything to him as he was so proud of his Irish heritage, the history of his family’s homeland across the sea, songs and music from Ireland, pints of Guinness, and making sure that his grandchildren would grow up proud to be Irish. He always reminded his boys to remember where they came from, and what their name is, that knowledge is power and, most importantly, that family does matter – even if they had really upset you at times.
Equipped with his Leatherman and his mini Maglite, he was always ready to assist with any problem, as he was a fixer of many things. He enjoyed making his Sunday morning breakfast, and was famous for his BBQ ribs. He was athletic; played football, wrestled, gracefully danced, ice skated, and loved skiing. As a Plattekill ski school instructor, he helped countless people fall in love with the sport and the mountain for over 30 years.
Terry spent his career in the banking industry and most recently as the site supervisor for Otsego County Habitat for Humanity. He was involved in many charitable organizations, including the Oneonta Elks #1312 (PER), the Sixth Ward Athletic Club, lifetime member of the American Legion, the Ancient Order of Hibernians. He was a loyal volunteer at the annual Great American Irish Festival for many years, as well as for Catskill Area Hospice & Palliative Care. He was a 1966 Unatego High School graduate and served in the U.S. Army as Specialist 5, Radar Repairman.
He is survived by his wife of almost 41 years, Cindy (Dysart); his sons, Kelly of Otego, Conor and his wife, Alley, of Ramsey, N.J., and Casey and his soul mate, Sara Bissaillon of Catskill; his beautiful grandchildren, RileyAnn, Lilian and Ada O’Hara, Caiden and Jack O’Hara, and Julian O’Hara; his mother, Margaret O’Hara of Otego (who will be turning 100 May 24); his brother, Tim of Cliffside Park, N.J.; his loving nieces and nephews and their children, many cousins, a bounty of great friends that he made throughout his life, and his faithful border collie, Belle. He was predeceased by his father, Thomas P. O’Hara, and his brother, Thomas P. O’Hara, Jr and his wife, Kathleen.
Terry’s family is deeply touched by the determination of the A.O. Fox Memorial staff and to all of the Bassett Healthcare ICU/SCU medical support staff who provided support to our loved one, and their heartfelt compassion provided to them during this very difficult time. You are heroes and will never be forgotten.
Life is shorter than you think. Have that beer, hug the people close to you and tell them you care about them and love them – tell them often. Terry was a gregarious Irishman who loved life. He leaves a void that will be impossible to fill.
The family will have a celebration of Terry’s life and interment at a later date when it is safe to gather.
To sign the online guestbook, visit, www.lhpfuneralhome.com, the website of Lewis, Hurley & Pietrobono Funeral Home, 51 Dietz St., Oneonta.
In lieu of flowers, the family ask that you consider donating to the Otsego County Habitat for Humanity, 403 B Chestnut St, Oneonta, NY 13820 or consider giving gift certificates from local eateries to one of the many health care professionals risking their lives to help save you and others.