James F. O’Hayer

New London, N.H. — James F. O’Hayer died Friday, January 11, 2013 at New London Hospital in New London, following a brief illness. He was 96. Mr. O’Hayer was born on December 6, 1916, in New York, N.Y. He was the son of the late James L. and Lorraine O’Hayer. He attended Iona Grammar and Preparatory Schools in New Rochelle, N.Y., followed by Holy Cross College in Worcester, Mass., and Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala., before graduating from Fordham University in the Bronx, N.Y. in 1939.

He was a Navy Lieutenant Commander in World War II, serving as a communications officer in the South Pacific. After the war, he began a career in textiles, with the family-owned Modern Globe Company. At Modern Globe, he handled accounts with major retailers for their store-branded knitwear.

In 1967, he moved to Ithaca Textiles in Ithaca, N.Y. He subsequently worked for Hanes and several other manufacturers, before joining Equitable Life, where he worked with clients on their insurance and estate planning needs. He continued working until well into his 80s.

Jim married Joan McMahon of New Rochelle, N.Y. in 1950. They lived in Eastchester, N.Y.; Ithaca, N.Y.; Wilton, Conn.; and Vero Beach, Fla., before moving to New London.

Jim was a parishioner of Our Lady of Fatima in New London, where he was a member of the men’s group. He was also a member of Kiwanis.

Jim’s greatest joy was his family. He was an intensely loving and devoted husband, father, grandfather and uncle, with many lifelong friends. He was always available to help friends or loved ones in trouble, and all of them could be the targets of a wicked and dry sense of humor. They often joked with him, and he laughed at himself, about his detailed advice on many subjects.

In addition to his family and friends, Jim loved his Catholic faith; chocolate (especially fudge sauce); good wine; the New Hampshire countryside; playing and watching tennis; watching baseball; reading the New York Times; going to the theater; listening to music, especially opera; keeping up with the political and financial worlds; getting hugs; and having a good laugh (often at his own expense). He kept exploring and learning throughout his years, taking classes until he was nearly 90.

He is survived by his wife, Joan; their son, Denis and his wife, Lisa Allen, of Atlanta, Ga.; daughter Eileen Towne of Plymouth, N.H.; grandson William Towne of Burlington, Vt.; and granddaughter Kathleen Towne of Plymouth, N.H. He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers Robert and Edward O’Hayer; and his sister, Corrine Nussbaum.

Visitation will be on Tuesday, January 15, 2013, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Chadwick Funeral Home; 235 Main St.; New London, followed by a funeral Mass at 11:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Fatima; 724 Main St.; New London.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to any of the following: Alzheimer’s Disease Research, Catholic Relief Services or Loaves and Fishes through Our Lady of Fatima Parish.