Gordon Thomas O'Hara
January 2, 1938 – July 11, 2019
Gordon O’Hara, husband, dad, grandpa, friend and band director/music teacher went home to be with the Lord, Thursday evening July 11, 2019. Mr. O’Hara is survived by his wife of 60 years 1 month and 5 days, Sue A. O’Hara. Sons, Kevin T. (Shellie) and William Kraig (Tessa), both of Longwood. Grandson (Kevin & Shellie) and musical apple of his eye, Patrick H. O’Hara, also of Longwood. Brother Brent F. O’Hara (Mary), nephew Michael O’Hara (Kassie) and Mike’s son, Luke O’Hara all of Troy, Alabama.
Born in New Orleans, Louisiana. Later moving to Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he grew up. Attending College at George Peabody College for Teachers of Vanderbilt University, graduating with a degree in Music Education. While at Peabody, he met and married Annette Sue Turner on June 6, 1959. He later received his Master’s Degree in Music Education from Florida Technological University in Orlando.
Mr. O’Hara’s love of music was second only to his love of God and family. His entire career was in teaching music, directing band and orchestra as well as performing in both the Florida Symphonic Orchestra and the Walt Disney World Band. Mr. O’Hara was a Band Director in the Central Florida area since 1959, including bands at Lockhart Junior High School, Howard Junior High School, Glenridge Junior High School, Oakridge Senior High School, Boone Senior High School, Stetson University and Riverview High School, Kiltie Band of Sarasota, Florida. His joy and purpose throughout his entire career was to share his love of music and his God given talents with his students. Long after he retired from full-time teaching, he continued to show his love of teaching music by teaching students at Teague Middle School, Lake Highland Preparatory School and Lake Brantley High School. His private teaching continued as of March this year until illness simply made it impossible for him to physically get to school.
Mr. O’Hara’s bands and individual students had a long history of receiving the highest superior scores in both County and State music contests. He was a long-time member of Phi Beta Mu and Phi Mu Alpha, Sinfonia Professional Fraternities, a highly demanded adjudicator for the Florida Band Masters Association throughout the State as well.
Although his earthly service of making music is done, he now joins his Lord and Savior in the Heavenly Choir of Saints.
After a private family burial service, there will be a celebration of Mr. O’Hara’s life service held on Saturday, July 20, 2019 at 11:00 a.m., at First Baptist Church Sweetwater, 3800 Wekiva Springs Road, Longwood, Florida 32779.
Gordon Thomas O'Hara
Sherry Poff (Williams)
September 22, 2019
Mr. O’Hara was our band director while I attended Glenridge Jr. High (late 1960’s) After finally making 1st chair saxophone, he asked me if I would switch to bassoon because he wanted us to perform the Firebird Suite which included a bassoon solo. He taught me himself for no charge and also allowed me to use one of the schools bassoons also for no charge! I remember one year on April Fools day, many members of our band picked up his MG Midget and placed it on our outside stage that we used for pep rallies! He was a great director and encouraged my love for music! I will always remember him.