In Memoriam

 
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Redmond O'Hanlon, Port Authority Police Officer
Thursday, August 24, 2006
By CHRISTINA LUNDY
ADVANCE STAFF WRITER

Jimmy O'HanlonLifelong West Brighton resident Redmond (Jimmy) O'Hanlon, 57, a retired Port Authority police officer and music lover who was deemed "the mayor" of his block, died Monday in Manhattan after a short illness.

Mr. O'Hanlon was known for his generosity and kind spirit, always offering assistance to anyone who needed it, said his wife of 34 years, the former Phyllis Grieco.

"His legacy will live on in all of the lives that he touched," she said. "He was a unique, caring individual who will never be forgotten."

Mr. O'Hanlon's giving nature was experienced not only by his family and friends, but by his Harvest Avenue neighbors, who deemed him their unofficial mayor with a heart of gold.

"He was the type of man who never forgot anyone's name, and when he asked how you were doing, he sincerely meant it," said 19-year-old neighbor Samantha Smith, who has lived across the street from Mr. O'Hanlon for her entire life. She also noted how he enlivened Halloween for neighborhood children -- in different years, he donned an ape suit, hired a magician and even rented a trained monkey to make them smile.

"I only hope his spirit, determination, compassion for others, and giving self inspire all neighbors, and people alike, to be more like this wonderful man. I know I speak for all when I say he will be truly missed," she said, noting that Mr. O'Hanlon -- an old-fashioned gentleman -- never hesitated to help when he saw anyone in need and was extremely thoughtful.

MARINE CORPS

Following his 1967 graduation from the former Augustinian Academy on Grymes Hill, Mr. O'Hanlon enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps -- although an arm injury prevented him from going to Vietnam. He was stationed in San Diego for a portion of his two years of service.

He then went to City College of New York in Manhattan and graduated in 1972 with a bachelor's degree in political science and a minor in education.

Mr. O'Hanlon's career began as an educational assistant and substitute teacher. He became a special education teacher at Egbert Intermediate School, Midland Beach, and then at Morris Intermediate School, Brighton Heights.

In 1979, he changed career paths, becoming a Port Authority police officer. Assigned to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan, he was part of the search and rescue operations following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks -- collectively, the group of officers was known as "Team Romeo."

When Mr. O'Hanlon retired in 2004, he was assigned to the George Washington Bridge.

Interested in art, music and antiques, he enjoyed going to exhibits and museums.

For more than 20 years, Mr. O'Hanlon was an active member of the United Group Harmony Association. The New Jersey-based group kept him up-to-date about where doo-wop groups -- his favorite -- were performing, and he traveled throughout the metropolitan area to hear them sing. Mr. O'Hanlon also attended parties and fund-raisers with the Harmony Association.

RESTORING FURNITURE

His interest in antiques led him to estate sales and flea markets, where he purchased furniture to restore and refinish. In the early 1970s, Mr. O'Hanlon owned a secondhand shop -- Different Strokes in New Brighton -- where he sold this furniture.

Interested in local politics, he worked on many Democratic campaigns. He also was a member of the Staten Island Yacht Club and the Staten Island Marine Corps League.

An animal lover, Mr. O'Hanlon adopted many cats as pets throughout the years.

He was an avid New York Yankees fan and, in his youth, played football in the Pop Warner and Titan leagues. He also excelled on the track for Augustinian Academy.

In addition to his wife, Phyllis, Mr. O'Hanlon is survived by his son, Redmond Sean O'Hanlon; his daughter, Laura E. O'Hanlon; a brother, Stephen, and three sisters, Patricia Keenan, Eileen Fitzpatrick and Bernadette McCool.

The funeral will be tomorrow from the Harmon Home for Funerals, with a mass at 11 a.m. in Sacred Heart R.C. Church, both West Brighton. The arrangements include cremation.

 Copyright 2006 Staten Island Advance
 

 

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