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John T. 'Jack' O'Hara, a retired manufacturer's representative, dies

John T. "Jack" O'Hara, a retired manufacturer's representative and vintage automobile enthusiast, died Monday of complications from West Nile virus at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson. He was 82.

The son of Frank P. O'Hara, president of the Corona Radio Corp., and Theresa McKernan, an office worker, John Thomas O'Hara was born in Chicago.

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After the death of his father when he was 7 years old, he went to live with an aunt in New Brunswick, N.J., and after his mother married William McKernan, lived with them in Buffalo, N.Y.

While living in Buffalo and attending high school, he worked summers on a dairy farm, at the Iroquois Brewery and as a gas station attendant, where was able to work on his black 1947 Ford coupe.

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After graduating from Kenmore High School in 1951, he enrolled at Pennsylvania State University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1955 in industrial engineering.

After college, he took a job with the insulation division of Armstrong Flooring in Lancaster, Pa. In 1960, he went to work for Coastal Trailer Co., an office trailer company, in Baltimore.

After a few years, he joined Biechler Associates in 1963, and six years later, Mr. O'Hara and a partner established their own firm, Marktron, representing electronics manufacturers.

Mr. O'Hara, who lived in the Summer Hill neighborhood of Phoenix, Baltimore County, for 44 years, retired in the mid-1990s.

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He enjoyed driving and working on his 1947 Ford convertible that was painted Barcelona blue and had appeared in the 1963 film "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World."

He was a member of the Early Ford V8 Club of America and the Chesapeake Chapter of the Antique Automobile Club of America.

Mr. O'Hara was an accomplished woodworker who liked building furniture and bookshelves and was a devotee of Shaker furniture, family members said.

He was an active member of the Woodpecker woodworking club and had served as its president. With his fellow Woodpeckers, Mr. O'Hara made wooden toys for children that they distributed in the pediatrics unit of the University of Maryland Medical Center and in other area hospitals.

"He was one of those people who was loved by many, did good things without seeking attention and always left you laughing," said his daughter, Kathleen "Kathy" Stevens of Columbia.

Mr. O'Hara enjoyed spending summers in Bethany Beach, Del., and riding his John Deere tractor while cutting his lawn.

He was a communicant of St. Joseph Roman Catholic Church, 100 Church Lane, Cockeysville, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 11 a.m. Friday.

In addition to his daughter, Mr. O'Hara is survived by his wife of 53 years, the former Deborah J. McMahon; three sons, John O'Hara of Towson, Patrick O'Hara of Richmond, Va., and Michael O'Hara of Naples, Fla.; two other daughters, Mary Zorbach of Timonium and Jenny Sweterlitsch of Bethlehem, Pa.; and 11 grandchildren.

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