During a beautiful tribute highlighted by the warm and uplifting eulogy delivered at Immaculate Conception Church Tuesday by his daughter, Revere Police Capt. Amy O’Hara, former Mass. State Police and Suffolk Superior Court Officer Edward L. O’Hara was remembered as a larger-than-life personality who affected lives in a positive way through his career in law enforcement and as a local public official.
Mr. O’Hara died on Oct. 23 at the age of 85. He was an outstanding athlete, police officer, and father to his seven daughters and his grandchildren.
They came from all walks of life to pay tribute to Mr. O’Hara, whose personality and energy could take over a room just by stepping foot in it. Mayor Brian Arrigo, Councillor-at-Large Anthony Zambuto, Veterans Officer Marc Silvestri, Police Chief David Callahan, Fire Chief Chris Bright, and Retired Revere Fire Lt. James Caramello (who is married to Mr. O’Hara’s daughter, Lynne O’Hara Caramello, were among the dignitaries paying their final tribute at the Funeral Mass.
“To anyone that knew our father, he left a lasting impression to say the least,” said Amy O’Hara, speaking on behalf of her six sisters and the O’Hara family.
Amy thoughtfully described her father as “the life of the party, a guy’s guy, the most loyal friend, and fiercely protective of all the O’Haras.”
Though she said it as an affirmation, anyone who had been in the company of this towering figure through the years knew of Mr. O’Hara as “a great storyteller.” And in a life well-lived and in a city that he loved early, Mr. O’Hara had a collection of positive stories to tell about his distinguished career.
“He loved his time on the State Police and as a court officer,” Amy O’Hara told the assemblage of family and friends. “He was committed to what was right. He was a competitor on the field and in life.
“But what he treasured most was being a father to his seven daughters and later in life as a grandfather to his grandchildren,” said Amy. “He loved his daughters and grandchildren unconditionally, Every time he saw us, we were greeted with a hug and an ‘I love you.’ He made all of us feel special.”
While many of his friends knew of Mr. O’Hara’s athletic prowess in sports like football and basketball, some learned from Amy that he was also a gifted candlepin bowler,
Amy told a wonderful story in which some of the O’Hara daughters decided to join a bowling league that had elite bowlers competing it. Though it didn’t go well at first, the O’Hara team ultimately improved each week and prevailed in the end to win the championship, with Mr. O’Hara – who had encouraged his daughters to join the league – leading the way with his clutch double-strike in the championship match.
In her speech, Amy featured her sisters’ accomplishments, spirit, determination, intelligence, warmth, and personality in Mr.O’Hara’s own words that he wrote on the occasion of his 70th birthday.
“Amy’s the best,” wrote Mr. O’Hara, with Amy drawing a great response from the gathering for that comment from her dad. “I never knew she wanted to be a cop until she made the police list. I give Amy a lot of credit. Sgt. O’Hara makes me feel very proud and I will be even more proud when she makes Lieutenant. ‘Dad, we know how that went – you were there when I made Captain.”
There was a fiddler and a man playing the bagpipes and the Police Honor Guard was present at the door to the church.
Mayor Arrigo had the following to share: This city lost one of its most respected residents when Ed O’Hara left us. When you start to consider the many ways Ed contributed to this city and his community–as a Navy veteran, a member of Revere’s school committee and its City Council, as a State Trooper and court officer, and in all the ways he supported groups, activities and events in our city–you quickly realize that he was a special part of the City’s history. And we are blessed that his family has carried on his legacy of public service. Ed was a colorful character who never shied away from fighting for what he believed. He will always be remembered for love of the city, his sense of humor that went along with his sense of fair play, and his unwavering devotion to his family. Revere mourns the loss of one of our most favored sons.
Edward O’Hara was no doubt in Heaven telling the best story about his amazing life and the incredible daughters he raised to be outstanding women.
Revere has lost a legend, a good friend to all who knew him.