John Brett Cahill
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Good Humor in 3 Languages

They called him Mad Dog.

When John B. Cahill was an undergraduate at Boston College, he was a real good-time guy, and his friends nicknamed him Mad Dog. But he calmed down and matured into a gregarious family man with a quirky sense of humor.

Mr. Cahill, 56, lived with his wife, Sharon, and two sons, Brett, 17, and Sean, 15, in Wellesley, Mass., and worked as a vice president of the systems group at Xerox. But he planned to retire at the end of the year to start his own consulting business. The name of it was MDI. His family knew what the initials stood for: Mad Dog Industries.

On Sept. 11, he was on Flight 175 to Los Angeles, where he was going to visit a friend and do some work on the new business. He had a passion for travel; the family had lived in England and Brazil. He was fond of Latin America, and planned to make it a focus of MDI. "He loved the people," Mrs. Cahill said. "They work to live instead of living to work."

Mr. Cahill spoke Spanish and Portuguese, and his interest in languages was picked up by his children. Brett is taking three languages — French, Spanish and German. "He got that from John," Mrs. Cahill said, "who realized the world was smaller than it seems."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 2, 2001.

John Brett Cahill, Xerox manager; 57

By Globe Staff, 9/15/2001

John Brett Cahill of Wellesley, a former senior executive manager with Xerox, died Tuesday in the crash of United Airlines Flight 175 at the World Trade Center in New York. He was 57.

Born in Brookline, he attended St. Mary's grammar school in Brookline and graduated from Catholic Memorial High School in West Roxbury in 1962.

During high school, Mr. Cahill's work as a caddie at Marshfield Country Club earned him a Francis Ouimet Scholarship, presented to caddies or helpers of professional golfers.

He graduated from Boston College in 1966, where he earned his bachelor of science degree in accounting. He earned an MBA at Suffolk University.

Mr. Cahill joined Xerox in 1967. He began in the sales training department and became a senior executive manager in Boston.

Later in his career, while he was completing international assignments, his family resided in Rio de Janeiro and Henley, England.

Mr. Cahill had a gift for languages, learning Spanish and Portuguese while working overseas. He returned from England in 1999.

He was a member of the Boston College Alumni Association and was an annual donor to the Flynn Foundation for athletes at Boston College.

He was a member of the Drug and Alcohol Prevention Committee in Wellesley and a member of the Wellesley High School Gridiron Club.

He was a recent member of St. Paul's Catholic Church in Wellesley.

He leaves his wife of 19 years, Sharon (O' Carroll), and two sons, Brett and Sean, all of Wellesley; his mother, Hannah (Sullivan) of Brookline; and three sisters, Alice Beaton of Braintree, Eileen Keenan of Arlington, and Patricia Hoban of Needham.

A memorial service will be held Monday at 10 a.m. in St. Paul's Catholic Church in Wellesley.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The State Journal-Register on Sep. 13, 2001.
Memories & Condolences
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54 entries
July 31, 2019
My thoughts and prayers go out to the cahill family.
September 11, 2016
To the family of John Brett Cahill. I purchased a flag commemorating your family member from a traveling 911 display of flags. Each flag had a yellow ribbon with the name, age, city, and location of deceased on this day. I fly his flag every 9/11; and numerous other times during the year. He is flying today! God Bless!!!
Meredith Olson
September 28, 2015
I visited the 9/11 memorial for this first time yesterday and took some pictures of this hallowed location. Saw the name behind me in the photo taken and wanted to research this man and was moved at his amazing life cut too short. Rip sir and may your children and family know yesterday and today your father and husband was thought of and touched my simple life years later.
August 16, 2015
Sharon for the first time since 9/11 I was back at the memorial today and was literally 10 feet away from John's name I regret so much not reaching out to you and your children over these years John was a great friend and a tremendous skiing buddy and as you know a great husband Love Rick
April 15, 2015
Mahfoud saidan
September 23, 2014
Melissa Blue
September 12, 2014
I thought of him also yesterday. What a nice man. He didn't deserve what happened to him. He will never be forgotten.
September 11, 2014
bella beltz
September 12, 2013
I met John when I moved to England from Madrid and he gave me the oportunity of my first job here. He was kind and funny. I will never forget him.
July 13, 2013
Dear Family and Friend of John Brett Cahill, may our Creator remember you always your love and concern. And your pain you have felt,over your loss.
Joyce S
September 11, 2012
I met John when I joined the Army Reserves in the Viet Nam Era. We traianed at Ft Dix for 6 months together. John always had a smile on his face and was upbeat with a great sense of humor. I will always remember him in my prayers.
Richard Gull
September 10, 2012
I ran a road race and his name was assigned for me, I have a xc race tomorrow and I plan on running it on his memory. His middle name is my last name. R.I.P
Patrick Brett
June 28, 2012
I vowed to never forget that day and I try to post something every day on Legacy. My prayers go out to John's family and friends. Much love from Texas,
Del Newberry
September 12, 2011
I lit a candle for John yesterday on my college campus. Him & his family will always be in my prayers.
September 12, 2011
This past weekend I did a 91.1K bike ride in honor of John. He was randomly assigned to me. I looked him up before I started the ride and was able to put a face and his history to his name. Knowing I was riding for him made me ride harder than I have ever ridden before. John was in my thoughts this weekend.
Nick Abdullah
September 12, 2011
I do not know John or his family, but I was given a card with his name on it yesterday in church. We were asked to pray for the family of each card. I just wanted you to know that I am praying from Texas for peace and healing for your family, and I trust that God will provide.
Jarrod Pharr
September 11, 2011
I never met John, but today I placed a flag in John's honor at the Sacramento 5k Run to Remember.
Camille Castaneda
September 11, 2011
I worked with John in the Lexington office, he in Sales and I in Service. Great guy,lots of fun, he is truly missed.
Best wishes and prayers.
Jack Jones
September 11, 2011
I worked with John at Xerox. He was always such a gentleman with a wonderful wit. I am thinking of him today with fond memories. I hope that the family is moving on and is well.
Martha Donohoe
March 28, 2011
Came into Schiphol today and thought of John. Not forgotten.
September 11, 2010
To the family of John Brett Cahill:
John gave the ultimate sacrifice and will be held in the hearts of Americans forever. I cannot and will not let our heroes of September 11 be forgotten. My deepest sympathy to you.
Peggy Childers
"Don't Let The Memory Of Them Drift Away"
Peggy Childers
September 11, 2009
Never we will forget you and all the others.
May prayers and the support of friends
continue to keep the survivors strong.
We can never forget a man such as You
8th Anniversary 9/11/09. You were remembered at 12:10 Mass at St. Marys today.
Elizabeth Molloy Mulhane St Mary's Brookline MA
September 8, 2008
Its seven years on now, and ten since I last saw John. I still think of him, especially at Christmas. Sean and Brett: I remember you in Marlow - if you are in Europe and you need anything, just email me and I'll fix it, your Dad would expect this of me and I'd be proud to do so... I owe him. With best wishes,
Tim Booth
Tim Booth
June 14, 2008
Celebrating a life well lived. We will cherish the memories forever.
Doug Abraham
June 10, 2007
In memory....
P Tabbernor
October 26, 2006
As I cross-stitched your name on the memorial that I am doing for all of the victims, I prayed for you and your family. Please know that your death was not in vain. We will always remember. God Bless.
September 22, 2006
God Bless the Cahill family.Your dad will be with you always.Nothing can ever take that away.Ill say a special pray for this family always.
Dawn Sproules
September 10, 2006
My deepest sympathy for your family. May they be blessed and be showered upon with our Father in Heaven's blessings. I know your watching them from above. My heart felt apology for your loss again. God bless the Cahill family.
Justin Jenks
September 10, 2006
i hope that u that can know that your wife and your kids will be save. because you were a kind and loving man,husband, and father
andrew smith
February 25, 2005
May you find comfort in knowing John is with Almighty God. Our prayers are still with your family.
K. Doherty
September 12, 2003
To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.

No matter how young or how old, you can be assured your loved one (John) fulfilled his destiny here on earth and now his spirit has gone onto better things, and is receiving his just reward.

Remember, the Race is not given to the swift nor the battle to the strong, but to those who can endure to the end.
Marilyn Furbush
December 14, 2002
I purchased a Patriots Band bracelet
with Mr. Cahill's name etched on it.
I will wear it proudly- and will tell everyone who asks about his background and his family.
I am a Social Studies teacher in Indiana and join America in mourning his loss.
Lesley schaeffer
September 12, 2002
To the Cahill family,

Even though we have never met, we share the same last name (my maiden name) and our condolences go out to each of you as you continue on with your lives in the midst of this terrible loss to your family.

May the Lord grant you grace and strength in proportion to your needs on a daily basis. He invites us to cast all our cares upon Him as He cares for us.

May He watch over each of you in a special way is my prayer.

Frances Cahill/Greenlaw
September 11, 2002
Dear Cahill Clan,(with so many brothers and sisters of John and Sharon, plus the boys, this is what I fondly came to think of you as!)
I have thought of all of you so often in the last year that I can't count them. In the short time that I interacted with your family last year I was lucky to get a glimpse of what John was like. My predominant thoughts and prayers have been that all of you have found a sense of peace in the past year.
God Bless,
Kris Weber
Kris Weber
September 11, 2002
I knew John casually back in the late 60's, early 70's, and was a guest at his North Conway ski house in the winter of '71. He loved downhill skiing at Wildcat Mtn., and I would see him up there on ocassion in the following years. John had a big heart, and was a gentleman in every sense of the word. My condolances to his family.
Paul Ross
September 11, 2002
To the Cahill family, we will always remember John when he coached soccer with Rick in Westport. Our prayers are with you and your family. Rick, Becky Campbell and the boys.
Becky Campbell
September 5, 2002
John sounds like a great man.
Brad Royston
August 13, 2002
John was a really great guy.
Tim Booth
June 12, 2002
On June 6, 2002, 1 mile was walked to honor the life of Mad Dog, and all the family, friends and loved ones he left behind. May you find some comfort in knowing that you do not grieve alone.

John, May you rest in peace. You will never be forgotten.
Kathy Swaringen
May 30, 2002
We think of John all the time and are just crushed by the loss. We knew John in New England at Xerox where we worked together. If there is peace to be found, we wish it for the family. Bruce and Donna Scott.
bruce scott
April 19, 2002
Til we meet again John...we will never forget! God bless
K. Melaragni
April 19, 2002
Hi I need your help you see I'm trying to make sure every family that lost a love one receive a homemade quilt. When I seen what happen I knew I had to do something so as I was crying and praying the Lord answered my prayers by telling me to make quilts for everyone. Not a very easy task especially when I really don't know where to start. I started making quilts and soon ask my friends and everyone in our wonderful country to help. Soon I had 1554 quilts ready to go. We took them to New York and hand deliver them to Pier 94 where the families wereon Dec 16,17, and 18. I know my job isn't done and I have to continue so I came across a list of all the victim and decided to see if maybe there friends or families could help me try and bring some comforter to the parents or spouse. If you need to check me out please do ask our Senator Harkin from Iowa phone number is 515-284-4574 and ask Dianne Liepa what my mission is with the Freedom Quilts. By the way my name is Betty Nielsen. I was on America 01 and Good Morning America. You can also call Good Morning America and ask for Catherine Upin one of ABC Productor to check the facts out. I'm trying to make sure and not miss anyone so please if you can help me by contact his beloved wife and telling her what I plan on doing she can email me or you can and let me know if it's okay. Right now I have made and collected 1174 and still working at making more. I need your help in order to completed my project. I hoping get all the families that lost a love one from the Sept 11 attacked and present them with a quilt. A quilt of love and comforter. I'm also thinking that maybe your senator from your state can line something up and I could bring quilts to hand over to the families. Please if you have any idea and would want to help me bring some comforter please talk to the families even the senator of your state and perhaps we can so something special. We here in Iowa want to show that it doesn't matter how far you are we are thinking of them and praying and we also want to give them a sign of comforter and love. What better way of showing that this country is great and that we care for one another. Thank you for listening.
Freedom Quilts
Betty Nielsen
13637 550th ST
Fonda Ia 50540
March 21, 2002
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family always. The world will never forget your loved one. . .never.
L. McGowan
January 12, 2002
We are deeply sorry for your loss of John. May his passion to help others, his fluent language skills, his life and love continue living in those who love him. May you always feel the warmth of his love surround you. Our hearts cry with you.
Teresa Jahn
January 2, 2002
My brother Walter and I attended St. Mary Elementary School with John in Brookline. I remember him well ... his mischievious, warm, funny smile. He was somewhat of a "Dennis the Menace" in a nice way. Always gave you a warm hello. I remember being sad that he wasn't going to the High School with the rest of us but also thought, "he's really going to be someone special when he grows up." Thanks for the sweet childhood memories, John.
Ann-Marie Sullivan
November 25, 2001
I purchased John's Mercy Band while visiting my mother for Thanksgiving. I will wear it proudly. May God Bless all of John's family and friends, and hold you all in the palm of His hand. Rest in peace my friend.
Marie Hankila
October 23, 2001
In 98/99 I worked with John at Xerox in Marlow, UK. I remember John as a very caring, warm hearted loving man, with great love for his family. I have fond memories of working with him, and was very sad to hear this tragic news.

My heart and thoughts are with his family.
Lindsay Rocke
October 10, 2001
My husband met John at a training event and sat next to him on the way home to MA. When he saw John's photo, he said, "What wonderful man. Look, you can see the LIGHT in his eyes, they just shine." Our prayers are with you all.
Mrs Conner
September 28, 2001
September 26, 2001
My Prayers are with the Cahill family & friends

As my soul takes flight to paradise
upon a snow-white dove...
I'm free to roam in my heavenly home
safe on the wings of love.

As I leave this world and fly away,
To a place where dreams come true...
My soul has found it's paradise,
But my love lives on in you.
Heather Parlor
September 23, 2001
Let me extend my prayers and deep sorrow to the Cahill family. John was a good man.
Robert Lane
September 21, 2001
We were next door neighbors when John, Sharon, Brett and Sean lived in Pittsburgh. We have many fond memories of John and feel blessed that we knew him.
The Tambellini Family
Mary Tambellini
September 19, 2001
John's colleagues at Xerox USA and Xerox do Brasil feel a sense of profound loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with Sharon and her boys.
Paul Meyrial
September 16, 2001
My deepest sympathy to the Cahill family. This is a terrible tragedy and my prayers are with you.

(former Brookline High classmate and friend)

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