James Patrick O’Hara, 72, of Bethel

BETHEL, Conn. -- James Patrick O’Hara, a lifelong resident of Bethel, died Sunday, Feb. 21 at Regional Hospice Center, Danbury.

James Patrick O’Hara
James Patrick O’Hara Photo Credit: Contributed

He was 72.

O'Hara is survived by his wife of 52 years, Ellen D. (Knudsen) O’Hara. 

He was born in Danbury Aug. 29, 1943, son of the late Rosalyn A. (Peters) Birdsall and George T. Birdsall. 

He served in the U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps Reserves.

O'Hara was a police officer with the Bethel Police Department and served 20 years as Captain. 

He was recognized by the State of Connecticut Governor and Legislature for outstanding service to the Town of Bethel. He was a former Director of the Bethel Chamber of Commerce, former President of the CT Narcotic Enforcement Assn., former President of the Bethel Fish & Game, member of Elks Lodge #120, Past President of the International NEOA, Past-President of the Bethel Police Benevolent Assn. and Past Co-Chair of the Bethel Community Care Day. 

O'Hara was a parishioner of St. Mary’s Church in Bethel and volunteered with the Carnival Committee for 25 years. 

He enjoyed hunting, fishing and camping and loved to sing and play his saxophone to 1950s music.

O'Hara is survived by his daughter, Tammy Lee Butlin (Christopher), of Atlanta, Ga.; son, James T. O’Hara (Sarah), of Danbury; and grandchildren, Mallory Lee Blair (Robert), of Fort Stewart, Ga.; Savannah Lee Butlin, of Atlanta, Ga.; James Patrick O’Hara and Jack Thomas O’Hara, both of Danbury. 

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, Feb. 26 at 10 a.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 26 Dodgingtown Road, Bethel.

Burial with military honors will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Bethel. 

The family will receive friends Thursday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at the Bethel Funeral Home, 215 Greenwood Ave., Bethel.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Regional Hospice of Western Connecticut, 30 Milestone Road, Danbury or to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital at

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