Eugene “Gene” Charles O’Hare, 84, of Brevard, died on June 7, 2019.
As an Irish Catholic kid from Canarsie, Brooklyn, Gene attended Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, where he credits the Christian Brothers with teaching him to think. After graduating, he attended Manhattan College, a two-hour train ride each way, and graduated in 1956 with a degree in electrical engineering.
Subsequently, he served three years as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force as a maintenance officer before diving into his 30-year career with the Bell System in and around New York City. He began as an electrical engineer but soon moved into management, a better fit for his outgoing personality. He enjoyed a career with enormous variety, moving every few years to a new challenge. He had director-level jobs in sales, engineering, marketing, banking and course development. He served as communications manager for the World Trade Center while the Towers were under construction and headed up the effort to make telephones accessible for the hard of hearing. He invariably led his division’s United Way drive and served as a Big Brother. He concluded his career with what was by then NYNEX as a member of the Quality Team, initiating and presenting quality improvement seminars around the country.
Gene carefully researched retirement destinations before zeroing in on Brevard, where he moved in 1990 and enjoyed an active, creative retirement. He took up tennis as well as painting, carpentry and travel, but the great passion of his retirement years was theater. Best known as a quirky character actor, he was in 22 plays and directed 10 in Western North Carolina, mostly at Brevard Little Theatre. He received numerous awards, both for acting and directing, and contributed his share of backstage work, building and painting scenery and serving as stage manager.
He is survived by his wife, Lyn French O’Hare; his first wife and mother of his children, Mary-Elizabeth Barbarisi, his children Thomas O’Hare, Lea-Ann Germinder, James, Matthew and John O’Hare; eleven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren, in addition to many nephews, nieces, grandnephews and grandnieces.
Witty and quick with a story, Gene enjoyed wide interests and talents along with great energy to pursue them. He will be missed and warmly remembered by family and friends.
His funeral mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 27, 2019 at Sacred Heart Church in Brevard with father Shawn O’Neal officiating. A life celebration, followed by a reception, will be held on the same day at 2:00 p.m. at Brevard Little Theatre.
He will be inurned on Monday, July 15, 2019 at Calverton National Cemetery, Long Island, New York with Funeral Honors provided by the United States Air Force.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Brevard Little Theatre, PO Box 426, Brevard, NC 28712.
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Moore-Blanchard Funerals & Cremations is caring for the family.
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