Dr. James J. O’Hara, age 84, died surrounded by his family on Monday, March 2, 2020, in Aiken, SC. Jim was born in Jersey City, NJ, to the late Arthur and Rose O’Hara.
He was preceded in death by his brother, David. He is survived by his wife, Mary O’Hara, their two children, Liam O’Hara (Marie), Katherine O’Hara-Goergen (Chris), two grandchildren, Madeline O’Hara and Ashlin Goergen, and a brother, Arthur M. O’Hara (Judith).
Jim graduated from Antioch College and then attended the University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, where he obtained his M.S. and Ph. D. in Biology. There he met his wife, Mary, and they were married in 1960. He taught Biology at SUNY (Albany, NY), Antioch College (Yellow Springs, OH), and Central State University (Wilberforce, OH).
He worked in the Environmental Division of Sargent and Lundy (Chicago) and then moved to Atlanta, GA, employed at Applied Biology, Inc. In 1981 he joined forces with Henry Kania to form Environmental and Chemical Sciences, an environmental consulting company, in New Ellenton, SC. Upon sale of the company in 1988, he retired.
Jim was a man of many interests. In his youth he enjoyed spelunking, hiking, and night diving in the Florida Keys. Throughout his life he hunted and fished. He made wine, and had a wood working shop where he turned wood and made furniture. He gardened and built a greenhouse for his orchids. He joined Houndslake Country Club and loved to play golf. He enjoyed painting and joined the Aiken Artists Guild. He was active as a volunteer for the Aiken County Sheriff’s Department for 5 years. And he and Mary traveled extensively for 25 years, visiting over 40 countries as well as most states in the US.
The family would like to express their appreciation to Dr. Gerald Gordon and his staff, as well as Westminster Memory Care, Benton House of Aiken, and Trinity Hospice for love and care provided for Jim. There will not be a funeral service. There will be a memorial wake with friends to be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Trinity Hospice of Aiken or the Parkinson’s Foundation.