Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Edward O’Mara III
February 15, 1943 ‒ November 03, 2015
MANSFIELD: Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Edward O’Mara III, Air National Guard, retired, died unexpectedly on November 3, 2015 in Mansfield at the age of 72.
Dan was born on February 15, 1943 in Waltham, MA to Daniel and Helena O’Mara. He graduated from Waltham High School in 1961 and earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in physical education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1965. He joined the United States Air Force and, in 1966, graduated from pilot training at Craig Air Force Base in Selma, AL. He flew F-4’s at Homestead AFB in Miami, FL, KC-135’s at Wurtsmith AFB in MI, and finally C-130’s out of Naha Air Base in Okinawa. While stationed at Okinawa, he met Carol MacDonald, who was an elementary teacher working for the Department of Defense; they married in 1970. They were then stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, AK, where Dan flew C-130’s for the Alaskan Air Command and acted as an instructor pilot. Dan and Carol had 2 daughters before being relocated to his last active duty assignment at Pope Air Force Base in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Upon leaving the Air Force, Dan joined the164th Airlift Squadron of the 179th Airlift Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard in Mansfield, Ohio, where he retired after 22 years of service. Throughout his military career, Dan received many outstanding honors, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Medal (awarded three times), and the Air Force Commendation Medal. He was also a member of the Order of Daedalians, a professional and fraternal order of American military pilots. His military career included 8,832.9 hours of flying with 8,175.8 of those hours being in the C-130.
Dan was an avid skier, volunteering on the Ski Patrol at Snow Trails Ski Resort in Mansfield for 31 years and imparting his love of the sport to his 2 daughters, taking them on ski trips during several spring break vacations. Dan also golfed weekly, refusing to use a cart unless the league he was playing in required it. He grew his own salsa garden, canning 2 dozen quarts of salsa every fall, and collected sugar maple sap with friends every March to boil down to make maple syrup. An accomplished pilot, he was the oldest and longest member of the Aircraft Club at Mansfield Lahm Airport where he spent countless hours flying and helping to keep their Cessna 172 in top shape. Dan enjoyed sharing a beer with friends and commenting on the ridiculousness of our society. He was a frequent soap box occupant who shared his views with anyone who asked. His witty remarks and laughter will be missed by all who knew him.
He was a communicant of Resurrection Parish in Lexington, Ohio where he was a frequent liturgist.
Dan is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Carol; children, Erin (Mark) Johnson, of Paris, Ontario Canada; and Kelly (Mark) Hadacek of Port Washington, WI; grandchildren Molly, Samantha, and Violet Johnson and Nicholas, Caroline and Elliot Hadacek. He is also survived by brothers Paul of Wayland, MA; Bill (Martha) of Waltham, MA; Jim of Onset, MA; sister Judy (Delores) of Brockton, MA; sister and brother-in-law Penny and Joe Griffin of Ann Arbor, MI; and various nieces and nephews.
Along with his parents Dan was preceded in death by his sister-in-law Eileen O’Mara.
A funeral mass will be offered Saturday, November 7, 2015 at 10:30 a.m. in Resurrection Parish, 2600 Lexington Avenue, where his family will receive friends the hour prior from 9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. The Very Rev. Father Nelson Beaver will officiate. Military honors will be performed by the Richland County Joint Veterans Burial Detail.
The Lexington Avenue Snyder Funeral Home is honored to serve Daniel’s family. Memorial contributions to Resurrection Parish may be made through the funeral home.
Online condolences to the family may be made by visiting:www.snyderfuneralhomes.com