William Melvin O'Hara
Aug. 30, 1934 Oct. 26, 2020
Bill O'Hara, history buff, hiker, dapper dresser and lover of travel, passed in peace after a long illness on Monday, Oct. 26, 2020.
He was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the only child of Melvin Francis O'Hara and Nelle Fleming O'Hara.
Bill grew up in Cedar Rapids, attending St. Patrick's grade school and high school. He also attended Coe College where he met the love of his life, Joyce Nugent, before he joined the service. Bill served in Albuquerque, N.M., where he and Joyce developed a love of the Southwest.
After the service, Bill and Joyce returned to Cedar Rapids where Bill worked at Merchants National Bank for 40 years and they raised a family. Bill loved working at Merchants Bank and formed many strong friendships. He enjoyed a daily constitutional and frequently was seen with Larry Christy, good friend of 55 years and coworker, walking around downtown Cedar Rapids discussing business, politics and gossip.
Bill loved working around the house. He learned how to be handy from his father, an upholsterer and cabinet-maker. His kids learned how to clean, cook, paint, do yard work and how to hang a picture. There was no sleeping in on Saturdays, you were up and at 'em by 7 a.m. No one loved a clean and orderly house more than Bill.
Bill and Joyce loved travel, "antiquing" and history. They collected many antiques with their friend Larry Christy in Iowa, the Southwest and London. The thrill of the hunt was the best part. Bill cataloged everything he and Joyce purchased over 50 years and could tell a story about each item.
In retirement, Bill and Joyce moved to Albuquerque to enjoy family, mild Southwest winters, hiking, art and history. He hiked the Sandia mountains almost daily and loved to drive to Santa Fe for lunch.
Bill relished attending his grandchildren's school sporting events and could always be heard hollering his support. His unique brand of chanting and feedback for the umpires always was appreciated by his grandchildren and the crowd. His grandchildren adored spending time with him, especially as teenagers and young adults. They have many memories about Grandpa's stories, driving and silly antics.
Bill's religion always was important to him. He was a longtime member of St. Matthew Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Prince of Peace in Albuquerque. He volunteered at Prince of Peace for 15 years. He strongly believed people should support one another and help those in need.
Bill was diagnosed with dementia in his mid-70s. He and Joyce moved from New Mexico to the Friendship Village community in Waterloo in 2008. The staff at Friendship village have been professional, caring, and compassionate. We would not have survived this journey without their caring team. We are very grateful for their support.
Bill is survived by loving wife of 66 years, Joyce Nugent O'Hara of Waterloo, Iowa; children, Kathleen (Larry) Maddox of Benicia, Calif., Jannien (Michael) Weiner of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Louis (Mary) O'Hara of Albuquerque, N.M.
Proud grandfather of Louis and Rachael Weiner, Wesley and Andrew Maddox, and William and Thomas O'Hara. He also leaves nieces, nephews and many family members and friends.
In order to protect the health of friends and relatives by preventing the spread of COVID-19, there will be no services at this time. We will celebrate Bill's life as soon as it is safe for all. We ask that you join us in prayer for all those impacted by the virus and for all medical personnel who are responding to it.
In lieu of flowers, do something nice for someone in need today. Dad would like that.