RAYMOND E. O'HARE, LCDR, USN
Raymond O'Hare '88
Date of birth: July 15, 1966
Date of death: July 11, 2000
From the July 31, 200 Chicago Tribune:
U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Raymond O'Hare, 33, dazzled friends and family with his accomplishments, but the aspiring astronaut was never satisfied.
He played college football. He held a degree from Harvard University. He flew F-14 jets. He had a wife and three children.
But just a few weeks ago, he told his wife, Colleen, that he thought he hadn't "done anything with my life yet," she said. She took that to mean that Lt. Cmdr. O'Hare, a devout Catholic, felt a spiritual need to help others.
"He was larger than life in so many ways," Colleen O'Hare said of the Chicago-area native and 1984 graduate of Brother Rice High School. "He was the most brilliant man I ever met. He was the most spiritually strong person I ever met. His faith was unbelievable, that's what drove his actions. He always thought of the other person first."
Lt. Cmdr. O'Hare, of Great Mills, Md., died Tuesday, July 11, when the T-38A Talon training jet he was co-piloting crashed while on a routine instrument approach at the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station in Maryland, said Commanding Officer Bob Stoney. He was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.
Since his death, so many friends and acquaintances have come forward to tell Colleen O'Hare what her husband meant to them that she now knows her husband touched more lives than even he realized.
Lt. Cmdr. O'Hare had been attending the test pilot school since January and would have graduated with Class 118 in December, Stoney said.
"He had a bright future, was an incredible gent and was an excellent student at test pilot school," said Stoney, who knew Lt. Cmdr. O'Hare through recreational basketball.
The crash, the first at the test pilot school since 1986, also killed the pilot, Lt. Cmdr. Gareth Rietz, 33.
Lt. Cmdr. O'Hare, the youngest of four children, was born in Chicago Heights and raised there and, later, in Palos Heights. He was an A student at Brother Rice, where he played basketball and football. He excelled in football, playing quarterback and defensive back, said his father, Bob O'Hare.
In 1989, he received his bachelor's degree in history from Harvard, where he was also a defensive end and punter on the football team. He met his wife at Harvard, and they were married in January 1992. He joined the Navy in 1990, graduating first in his class from Officers Candidate School, Bob O'Hare said.
From 1992 to 1997, he served as radar intercept officer on F-14s in a variety of fighter squadrons based out of Miramar, Calif.
Lt. Cmdr. O'Hare is also survived by daughters Katherine and Elizabeth; a son, Thomas; his mother, Sally; brothers Michael and Mark; and a sister, Christine Taber.