Colonel Peter J. O'Hagan, Jr.
AGE: 81 • Morris Twp.
Colonel Peter J. O'Hagan, Jr. died on Saturday, April 12, 2014 at Morristown Medical Center. He was 81. Born and raised in Harding Twp., NJ he lived in Morris Twp. since 1958. He was a member of the first graduating class of Bayley Ellard High School, Madison in 1950. Col. O'Hagan received his commission as 2nd Lt., USMC, upon graduation from Mt. St. Mary's College, Emmitsburg, MD, in 1954. He served on Active duty through 1956, remaining in the Reserves upon release. From 1955-1956 he was Deputy Provost Marshall at Camp Lejeune, NC, and was a Special Agent for the CIA, Washington, DC from 1956-1958. He was promoted to Captain in 1959. Upon promotion to Major in 1966, he was recalled to Active duty. He served in the Intelligence Branch, 2nd Marine Division, and eventually became Assistant Chief of Staff-G2, of 2nd Marine Division, Camp Lejeune, NC. He left Active duty in 1967.
From 1967-1969 he served in the Marine Corps Reserve, Washington, D.C. and also with VTU, Short Hills, NJ as a ASIS Project Officer from 1970-1974. Col. O'Hagan served in Vietnam from 1969-1970 as the G2 Advisor to Vietnamese Marines. He was a Security Officer at the American Embassy in Saigon, Vietnam. He was promoted to Lt. Col. in 1971 and served as Commanding Officer, 6th Motor Transport Battalion from 1974 to 1976. He was promoted to Colonel in 1976 and served as Commanding Officer, Mobilization Training Unit-1, at Picatinny Arsenal, Dover, NJ until his retirement in 1984. After retirement, he served 3 years as Marine Corps Liaison Officer to the NJ National Guard, 1986-1989, and also served on the Naval Review Discharge Board, Vietnam Board and Vietnam Amnesty Board.
Col. O'Hagan's civilian career included serving as a Special Agent, U.S. Dept. of Defense, Security Services Division, for nearly 20 years. He conducted classified investigations and inquiries for the Secretary of Defense on matters vital to national security. He traveled extensively domestically and overseas and qualified as distinguished expert in firearms. From 1987 to 1990 he served as a Special Assistant to the Commissioner, NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection and Commissioner and Chairman of NJ Lottery Commission. From 1990-1992 Col. O'Hagan was the Group Director of Facilities & Environmental Services at St. Clare's Riverside Medical Center, Denville, NJ
He was recalled to Active duty for Operation Desert Storm in 1991 as the Casualty Assistance Officer for the U.S. Marine Corps
and for the State of New Jersey. The highlight of his career was to lead a regiment of 2,500 Marines in the Victory Parade up Broadway in New York, celebrating the end of Operation Desert Storm in 1991. He is the founding member and CFO of the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation since its inception in 1995. He was the former Treasurer/Director, Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation.
Upon retirement, he served as Vice President of Support Services at Morristown Memorial Hospital. From 1993 to 1994 he was a Consultant for Special Projects. He also served as their Director of Security. He provided security services at the last 4 Republican National Conventions (New Orleans, Houston, San Diego, Philadelphia). Col. O'Hagan was appointed by Governor Christine Todd Whitman as Director, NJ Division of Highway Traffic Safety (DHTS) in 1994. He served in that capacity until 2002. In his off-duty time, Col. O'Hagan has served as a Committeeman and 3 terms as Mayor in Morris Township for 13 years and 10 years as Police Chief
. He was in his second term as a Morris County Freeholder when he became Director of DHTS. In March 2002, he became a Consultant with AAA of Northern NJ, a position he currently holds. Since 2003, Col. O'Hagan has served on the Florham Park-based AAA NJ Automobile Club's Speaker Bureau.
In 2006 he undertook a 16-month special assignment with Homeland Security at Newark/Liberty International Airport. Col. O'Hagan has been the recipient of numerous awards, including:
Meritorious Service Medal 2 Secretary of the Navy Commendations Medals with Combat "V", 3 Naval Unit Citations White House & Secret Service commendations for work performed in Vietnam Morris County-Veteran of the Year, 1983, Bayley-Ellard High School Hall of Fame, 1991 (Class of 1950), President's Award-NJ Chiefs of Police Assn., 1996 American Red Cross-Volunteer of the Year, 1996 Leadership Award, National Burn Victim Foundation, 1997, Colonel Jeffrey McNally Award, USMA, 2002
Distinguished Service Award, NJ State Safety Council, 2002, Public Service Award, National Highway Safety Council, 2002, NJ State Safety Council Distinguished Service Award, 2002, Special Recognition Award, Safer NJ Conference, 2002, Rutgers University's Distinguished Recognition Award, 2002, Recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow through the Rotary Foundation. Served 30 years with the Morris Minute Men and was 6 term past President.
He is predeceased by his first wife, Patricia (O'Connor) O'Hagan and his parents Peter and Winifred O'Hagan. He is survived by his wife, Barbara (Gregg) O'Hagan and his six children: Peter and wife, Judy; Kathleen; Maureen Daley and husband, Harry; Cynthia; Sharon Biggar and husband, Barry; and John and wife, Regina. He is also survived by his step-daughter, Amy Fassett, 10 grandchildren and his two sisters, Mary Curtis and Grace Tittel.
The Liturgy of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the Church of the Assumption, Morristown, NJ on Thursday at 10:00 AM. Interment Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Hanover. Hours of visitation at the Doyle Funeral Home (www.doylefh.com
), 106 Maple Ave., Morristown, NJ on Wednesday from 2-4 & 6-9 PM. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation, P.O. Box 37, Mountain Lakes, NJ 07046 or to the Morris Minute Men, P.O. Box 192, Morris Plains, NJ 07950.