Phil O'Hara

25 October, 195316 February, 2022
Obituary of Phil O'Hara
Ward Philip O’Hara, Phil to everyone who knew him, passed away peacefully on February 16, 2022 at Hospice Halifax, following a valiant two year battle with cancer. The O’Hara family is deeply grateful to all the staff and volunteers at Hospice Halifax who provided amazing care and comfort in the final days of Phil’s life. Married to his loving wife Janet (Sampson) O’Hara for over 43 years, he is survived by Janet, their five children Meredith, Adam, Chris (Becca), Drew (Jade), and Melanie (Marissa), and grandson Jacob, as well as his sister, Mona Hollett and brother, Mike (Kim) O’Hara. Phil left the following as a self-written obituary: Writing an obituary takes a toll on those tasked to prepare it after the death of a loved one so I decided to relieve a family member of that chore and have it flow from my pen. I count my blessings every day for the loving relationship with my wife Janet (Sampson) O’Hara who was with me for over 43 years. Her strength, resolve, resilience, and goodness empowered me to be more than I ever thought possible. Our children Meredith, Adam, Chris (Becca), Drew (Jade), and Melanie (Marissa), make me glow with pride daily. They have blossomed to become independent, mature, driven, thoughtful, and contributing adults in our community. It has been a source of joy to have them all nearby. I love and deeply value my friendships with many, including Philip LeBlanc, the best man at my wedding; Brad Crossley, my brilliant and confident coach, student, mentor, and sounding board who enriched my life in too many ways to count; and the many adopted young people over the years who I have mentored, which my children refer to as honorary O’Haras (especially Ryan Zaldin, Hanny Alshazley, Gord Dickie, Wietse Slob, Richie Gatean, Bret Himmelman, and Matt Warner). To these and many other dear friends: you were all in my thoughts as I drew my final breath. It has been a joy to have you in my life. Being diagnosed with cancer a couple years ago was an unexpected shock but it provided me with an excuse to reflect on my time on this blue dot called planet Earth. I thank God for holding my hand during this challenge and providing me the wisdom to navigate a path to live life to the fullest and focus on living with dignity, courage, humour, and grace. A huge shoutout to my medical team. Dr. Wojciech Mokrzycki and Dr. Allison Wallace, along with a host of others, too many to name, who have demonstrated a level of brilliance and caring above and beyond. If you wish to make a donation in my memory, consider giving a 10-dollar-bill to anyone who appears in need. I am also a big supporter of the following charitable organizations: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Halifax, Shakespeare by the Sea, Halifax YMCA Big Cove Camp, and the Association of Retirees and Pensioners of Dalhousie. In addition, over the years I made 343 donations at Canadian Blood Services. You would honour my memory by becoming a regular donor. Every donation saves about eight lives and is a selfless act of genuine caring for your fellow human beings. Due to limited space, a by-invitation Funeral Mass is scheduled for Friday, February 25 at Saint Thomas More Church, livestream details will be posted to Facebook at By the way, you would honour my memory by wearing a Second Wind polo if you have one, or a brightly coloured polo or Hawaiian shirt. I was never a suit guy. I leave with the satisfaction that I had the good fortune to live a charmed life filled with love during every waking moment. Peace, Love, and Laughter, Phil

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