GRAYLING — William Robert O’Mara, a devoted family man of deep faith and proud Irishman, died Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, at his home in Grayling, Mich.
He was born Oct. 28, 1933, in Carsonville, Mich., to Edward and Mary Isobel (Mahon) O’Mara. He married Ruth Wallace June 23, 1956.
He worked as a tree trimmer and later was an electrical lineman. Bill and Ruth moved with their six children to Grayling in 1972. One of his favorite activities was hosting family gatherings in his garage every Christmas, Thanksgiving, St. Patrick’s Day, and on many birthdays and special occasions. He volunteered at the Crawford County Christian Help Center and Mercy Hospital Auxiliary and was very active in the church. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, coaching his sons’ baseball teams, gardening and spending time with Ruth at his cabin in Paradise, Mich., until her death in 2009. Bill, at the age of 79, married Joan Knapp Gibson in June of 2013.
He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Grayling, and Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church in Paradise, Mich. He belonged to the Father Reiss Council of the Knights of Columbus, Fraternal Order of Eagles and Moose Lodge.
He is survived by his wife, Joan; two brothers, Joseph and Jerome; one sister, Katherine Hill; six children, Ellen (Jon) Thompson, Grayling, Cindy (Herb) Olson, Grayling, Marty (Janna) O’Mara, Traverse City, Bill Jr. (Sue) O’Mara, Clark, Wyo., Dennis O’Mara, Katy, Texas, and John (Rae Ann) O’Mara, Flushing; 21 grandchildren and 33 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; five brothers, Edward, Michael, Brian, Harold, and Patrick; one sister, Ellen; and two granddaughters, Kayla O’Mara and Jessica Thompson.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Mary’s in Grayling at 11 a.m. today, Jan. 28. Viewing will be held at the church at 10 a.m. today.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Renewing the Heart of St. Mary’s Fund, 708 Peninsular Avenue, Grayling, MI 49738.