James Francis O’Hare (1951-2024) – A Life Filled with Stories and Collections

James Francis O’Hare, known as Jim by all who loved him, passed away peacefully on June 19th 2024, at the age of 72. He resided in Prairie Village, Kansas, cherished by a family he adored and collections that reflected his curiosity and zest for life.

Born in Arlington, Virginia in 1951 to James and Margaret O’Hare, family always played a central role in Jim’s life. After his father’s passing, he moved with his family to Kansas City to be closer to his mother’s relatives. He treasured spending time with his aunts, uncles, and cousins, especially his uncles who took him to baseball games. These childhood experiences sparked a lifelong love of baseball. Jim attended St. Catherine’s for grade school, where he made many lifelong friendships. He then went on to Archbishop O’Hara High School, where he was part of the first graduating class.

Jim’s academic pursuits continued at UMKC, where he earned both an undergraduate degree and a Master of Business Administration (MBA). After a stint as a professor at Central Missouri State University, he embarked on a fulfilling 30-year career at KCPL, a dedication he wore with immense pride.

Jim had many hobbies including collecting, fishing and woodworking. He was dedicated to his hobbies and spent many hours in the autograph lines at the Kauffman stadium and casting lines at Lazy Valley. Jim was a skilled woodworker, and enjoyed refurbishing and building furniture. He was also known for his handcraft Christmas gifts. 

Jim loved many things, and his collections showed it. Signed baseballs, proof of his love for the game, filled his shelves. Each ball was a special memory of meeting a baseball hero. Jim also loved hunting for treasures on Florida beaches. He could spend hours sifting through the sand for sharks’ teeth. He found many shark teeth, each one a reminder of his adventures. Coins were another favorite. Jim liked how they told stories about history and economies present.

Jim breathed life into things. His collections weren’t just belongings, they were stories waiting to be shared. You could listen for hours as he told tales about finding his treasures.

Jim wasn’t just a collector; he was a devoted family man. He was happily married for 44 years and after retiring enjoyed “wintering” in Florida with his wife, Joan. He coached his sons’ baseball and basketball teams, and was actively involved in Scouts with them. He enjoyed playing blackjack with friends, puzzles, and game nights with his wife, sons and daughter-in-law. Jim’s life was filled with love, creation, and family fun.

Jim was longtime parishioner of St. Ann Catholic Church. He was a third degree Knight of Columbus, and enjoyed being an active member of the parish and serving the community.

Later in life, after being diagnosed with Parkinsons and ALS, Jim got involved with The Parkinson’s Exercise and Wellness Center (PEWC) and The ALS Association. He enjoyed going to the Parkinson’s—Art of Expression (PARTE™) and exercise classes. He also participated in the annual Walk to Defeat ALS and was recognized for his fundraising efforts.

Jim will be remembered for his warmth and unwavering loyalty. He is preceded in death by his parents, James and Margaret O’Hare. He leaves behind a loving wife, Joan O’Hare, sons Andy O’Hare and Timothy (wife Meredith) O’Hare, grandson Warren Francis O’Hare, and sister Peggy O’Hare.

One of his greatest joys was becoming a grandfather, he passed knowing a second grandson was on the way. We love you Jim, we know you are in the Field of Dreams and catching the biggest trout in Heaven!  

A funeral service will take place on Tuesday, June 25th, starting with a visitation at 10:00 am, and a funeral mass at 11:00 am at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Prairie Village. Internment at Corinth Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Parkinson’s Exercise and Wellness Center and The ALS Association – Team O’Hare Walk to Defeat ALS.  

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