HEHIR John P. “Jack”, of Lancaster, 88, died Saturday, January 26 at the Bedford VA Hospital, after a brief illness. Born in Boston, he was the son of the late Daniel J. Hehir and Helen (Woods) Carter. He was a veteran of both the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Air Force, serving a total of over 31 years between the two branches of the military. As a teenager, he served in World War II on the USS San Juan as the vessel participated in many actions including the Battle of Santa Cruz in 1942, where a Japanese bomb passed through the stern of the ship. As a member of the USAF, Jack’s service took him and often his family to faraway places such as Alaska, Guam, and Japan. He also served at various installations in the “lower 48.” He had the distinction of being awarded the Purple Heart in both branches of the service as well as numerous other medals and awards. Upon his retirement from the USAF, he worked for the physical plant at MIT for 20 years. Jack enjoyed golf, reading, family barbeques, swimming with his grandchildren, taking walks and socializing with friends and family. During the last three years of living at the Bedford VA Nursing Home, he especially delighted in the company of the loving and caring staff of the VA as well as with his fellow veteran neighbors. He leaves a son, John P. Jr. of Keene, N.H.; three daughters, Sally Hehir of Arlington, Joyce Atkinson and her husband, James, of Lancaster, and Susan Turnquist and her husband, Gregory, of Groton; seven grandchildren, Tonya, Victoria, John and Caroline Atkinson, Marissa and Julia Hehir, Alicia Hehir; several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his wife, Winnie J. (Aiken) Hehir and a daughter, Elaine T. (Hehir) Coyne. A Funeral service will be held on Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 11:00 A.M. in the Philbin-Comeau Funeral Home, 176 Water Street, CLINTON. Burial will follow in Eastwood Cemetery, Lancaster. A calling hour in the funeral home will be prior to services on Thursday morning from 10:00 A.M. until 11:00 A.M. Memorial contributions may be made in Jack’s memory to Massachusetts Veterans, Inc.-69 Grove Street, Worcester, MA 01605. Online condolences may be placed at www.philbincomeaufh.com.
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Published in Boston Herald on Jan. 29, 2013