Donald Arthur O'Hara, age 83, of Sonoma, Calif., entered into rest Tuesday July 9, 2013, at home with family at his side.
Don was born at home in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on December 24, 1929, to Francis William O'Hara, Sr. and Fern Ethel Goldsberry O'Hara. He left high school and enlisted in the U.S. Navy where he served 4 years as a radar man 3rd class aboard the USS (Mount) McKinley AGC-7 7th Fleet Ship during the Korean War. After his service, he returned to Council Bluffs where he married his first wife Irene Jansenius O'Hara.
Don loved music and he played the cocktail drum and the spoons in a local band. He had a wonderful singing voice and was known to sing throughout the day.
In 1969, Don moved his family to Vallejo, Calif., where he was a member of the Retail Clerks Union. Don went back to school and got his GED and went on to earn a cosmetology license and was an instructor at the Vallejo Beauty Academy. He was a proud employee of the Vallejo City Unified School District where he was a custodian. There, he was certified in carpentry, plumbing, painting, electrical, and as a lock smith.
Don was a member of the American Legion Post #0489 and The Royal Order of The Moose in both Vallejo and Sonoma. He donated to Boys Town in Nebraska and was given the title of "Honorary Citizen". He was a tithing member of both St Vincent's in Vallejo and St Francis in Sonoma. After retiring from the VCUSD he moved to Sonoma, to enjoy the wine country, where he married his wife of 13 years, Yolanda Aguilar O'Hara.
Don was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Irene O'Hara; brothers, Robert, Chester and Alfred; and his sister, Mary Beth Shea.
Don is survived by his wife, Yolanda O'Hara; sons, Daniel (Doc) O'Hara, of San Diego, Calif., David O'Hara (Lisa), of Sonoma, Brian (Bo) O'Hara (Karen), of Glen Ellen, Bernard (Anna) O'Hara; daughters, Kerry (Herb) Cruz, Trudi (Victor) Salazar, Joy Aguilar, all of Vallejo, Marie (Mike) Sak, of Whitestone, New York; 19 grandchildren; 2 great grand daughters and a great grandchild on the way; siblings, Alvin Smith (April), of David City, Neb., Lorraine Kealy, Nadine Salvo, of Council Bluffs, Bernie O'Hara (Lynne), of Woodbridge, Va., Francis (Herk) O'Hara (Karen), of Omaha; and many loved nieces, nephews, and in laws.
Don was the life of the party; the leader of the band, but more importantly, a most loving family man. He was fiercely proud of his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. He taught us to sing as if no one was listening and live every day with a song in our hearts. He will be greatly missed, but we do not grieve without hope knowing that he is enjoying the presence of our Savior, and that we will see him again.
A memorial service will be held on July 21, 2013, at 2 p.m., at Relais Du Soleis, 1210 Nun's Canyon Rd, Glen Ellen, California 95442. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers please send donations to Hospice of Petaluma. Donations should be made directly to Hospice of Petaluma, 416 Payran Street, Petaluma, California 94952 or contact them at 707-778-6242 for more information.
This obituary was originally published in The Daily Nonpareil.