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John Joseph O'Mara

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O'MARA, JOHN JOSEPH Former WW II P.O.W. John J. O'Mara ends a long life of service to community and
family. John Joseph O'Mara, 87, of Oviedo, FL, passed away Monday, October 6, 2008 at his home after a lengthy battle with brain cancer. John was diagnosed in July of 2007 and spent the last 13 months in his last battle against this devastating illness. John was born February 2, 1921 in New York, NY to the late Sylvester and Jane (Smith) O'Mara. Mr. O'Mara grew up in Brooklyn, NY, having worked his way through Loughlin High School as a grocery delivery boy. It was through that job that he met his eventual wife, Anna "Nancy" McAteer, while delivering groceries to her family. John enlisted in the Army Air Corps. in World War II, graduated officer training school as a Second Lieutenant, and became a Navigator/Bombardier, flying reconnaissance missions based with the Royal Air Force in England. He and his crew members were shot down over Germany, and he was captured by the local police and brought to a prisoner of war camp. He spent approximately nine months as a P.O.W. until the prison was liberated by the Russian Army, at the end of the War. John returned to New York and began his 32-year career in the New York City Fire Department. He worked his rank up from fireman to Lieutenant to Captain and finally to Battalion Chief. He became involved in the Uniform Fire Officers Association, eventually becoming President of the UFOA in 1968, during the tumultuous times of urban renewal in New York City. He fought against then Mayor John Lindsay, demanding additional protection for firefighters exposed to violence in the streets while attempting to do their job. John and his wife, Nancy, raised five children in New York including their daughter Roseanne, who passed away at age 47 from breast cancer leaving behind two daughters; son John J.
O'Mara, Jr., who also served in the Army, and followed in his father's footsteps, serving 20 years with the New York City Fire Department. John retired from the Fire Department and recently retired from the construction industry and presently lives most of his time in Mount Snow, VT, with his wife, Barbara. Kevin James
O'Mara, John's second son, also served his country in the Army, having served proudly in Vietnam. Kevin and his wife
Janet live in New York, where Kevin is in the construction and real estate industry. John's second daughter, Nancy Jane, works at Sieman's Inc. in Orlando, and raised five children along with her husband, Paul DeFeo, until he passed away of a heart attack in 2003. The youngest son, Mark M. O'Mara is a criminal defense and
family law attorney in Orlando, FL, having graduated from the University of Central Florida and Florida State University Law School. After retiring in 1974, and moving to the Orlando area, John and Nancy enjoyed their retirement golfing at local Winter Park Pines Golf Club, traveling the country and in Europe, including many travels back to Ireland, the home of both families' ancestry. John and Nancy were active members first of St. Margaret Mary Catholic Church and then of St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church. John's wife, Nancy, passed away in 2003 after a battle with lung cancer. He is also predeceased by his namesake grandson, John
Joseph O'Mara, III. He also leaves behind 12 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Thursday, October 9, 2008 at 11AM in the Chapel of St. Peter and Paul Catholic Church with Father
Fidel Rodriguez-Cruza as Celebrant. Interment will follow at National Cemetery with full military honors. Visitation for
family and friends will be held this evening from 6-8PM at the
funeral home. Services are
entrusted to Collison Family Funeral Homes and Crematory, Hallowed Grounds Chapel, at 3806 Hallowed Grounds Road, Winter Park, FL. 407-678-4500
Published in the Orlando Sentinel on Oct. 8, 2008
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