DELRAY BEACH — Patricia Johnston O’Hearne of Delray Beach died surrounded by family June 19 at the age of 84.
Patricia Johnston was born in Brooklyn on April 9, 1938, to Patricia and Robert Emmett Johnston. The oldest of three daughters, she was 10 and 11 years older than her sisters and famously thought the elder was her 10th birthday present.
After high school in Hempstead, New York, she earned a bachelor’s degree from Barry University (then Barry College) in Miami Shores in 1959 and later a master’s degree from Fairfield University in Connecticut. She was a loyal and proud alumna of her schools, particularly Barry where there is a scholarship in her name.
She met Dave O’Hearne in high school. After years of friendship, they began dating in her senior year of college and married on April 29, 1961. They moved often — living in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut (four homes in the same town!), Colorado, New Hampshire and ultimately Florida. With each move, Mrs. O’Hearne quickly created a warm and lovely home and began welcoming family and friends.
Mrs. O’Hearne was a natural leader with many passions. She worked as a journalist, teacher, bookstore owner and politician. She was an enthusiastic traveler who particularly enjoyed Windstar Cruises’ crossings between the Mediterranean and the Caribbean.
An ardent Democrat, she once served as the clerk in the Connecticut State Senate and volunteered extensively on campaigns in Connecticut, Colorado and Florida. She sent red, white and blue flowers to her grandchildren on their 18th birthdays to remind them to register to vote.
She was a devout Catholic, a longtime parishioner and Eucharistic minister at St. Pius X in Fairfield and more recently at St. Lucy Catholic Church in Highland Beach.
She disliked “nonsense,” swearing, complainers and sitting still. She loved reading, making French toast and blueberry pancakes for her grandchildren, talking on the phone, gardening, going to tea and organizing a dinner to celebrate — almost anything. She was the proud vice president of the Pat O’Hearne Club. With all that, she survived 84 years without being wrong once.
She is survived by David B. O’Hearne, her beloved husband of 61 years; their children Brian O’Hearne (Kerry Moynihan), Mary O’Hearne and Jennifer Shepard (Michael); sisters Stefanie Gugelot and Mary Blum (Peter); grandchildren Marine Cpl. Patrick O’Hearne, Liam Shepard, Deirdre Shepard, Navy Ensign Aidan O’Hearne and Brendan Shepard; nieces Deirdre Gugelot and Caitlin Moran; cousin Michael Botty and many cousins who came after him; two great-nieces and two great-nephews; and countless friends.
A funeral Mass was celebrated on June 30 at St. Lucy’s followed by burial at the South Florida National Cemetery west of Lake Worth.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to Trustbridge Hospice at Bethesda Hospital East, where the nurses took such good care of her.
Trustbridge–Bethesda Memorial Care Center, 2815 S. Seacrest Blvd, Boynton Beach, FL 33435 or www.trustbridge.com/donate-now.
— Obituary submitted by the family