I'm Clare O'Riordan Daniels, John's fifth child and this is probably
the only speech Dad didn't write for me.
past six months while dad was in the hospital I was very lucky to have
spent so much time with him. I sure got to know my dad a lot better.
And I realized,
HAD NOTHING IN COMMON"
of our first visits together I decided I was going to get to know him
better so I asked,"Dad why don't you tell me about your days in
the army?" With a furrowed brow he said, "Honey, I was an
airforce navigator and how many people have you told that to?"
"Don't worry dad, anyone I told lives in Bucks County and they're
Another visit I
was sitting quietly reading and dad asked "So Clare What are you
reading lately?" and I told him "My weekly issue of People
Magazine and you dad?"
Then we moved on
to an even more uncommon subject, "IRELAND". I promised dad,
"Dad someday I, along with my organizer husband Bob, will organize
a family trip to the place where your family began, BELFAST,IRELAND."
again Clare, BELLANA."
Seven P.M. was
always a favorite time in dad's room, "JEOPARDY". Dad would
usually mumble the right answer and after I heard his answer I would
quickly blurt out the same.
WAS SO IMPRESSED"
wasn't about Irish history, politics, Philadelphia or books. It revolved
around three intangibles, LAUGHTER, LOYALTY, AND LOVE.
I finally realized we did have something in common. When our day together
was over dad would always say, "THANKS FOR COMING CLARE, I LOVE
and then I would
always say, "IT WAS MY PLEASURE DAD, I LOVE YOU TOO."
from John's grandchildren
my childhood, my father always spoke about my grandfather's impact
on his life and the respect he had for my grandfather. It's not until
I was older that I was able to appreciate his intelligence and the
respect that I had for him. I was always told how my grandfather stressed
the important values of life to all his kids. They grew up to learn
that they did not need a lot of money to succeed in life. They all
know not to give up on their dreams until they are achieved. They
all know that life isn't about looking good and impressing people.
They also know that punctuality is not an important life value. He
taught kids that life was about having fun, laughing and being yourself.
As I grew up, I realized these were the important values to learn
in life. In a way, he taught those values to me through my father.
Every time I saw
Grandpop, he would ask me "Are you still playing your violin?"
He would always ask me to bring my violin and play for him next time
time I saw him. I got the opportunity to play for him a few Christmases
ago. Wednesday, after Grandpop passed away, I was sitting in orchestra
class, playing my violin. I could feel him looking down upon me. I
felt I had to play 110% for him, since he hadn't heard me play in
so long. I know he will be happy and pain-free in heaven. He is once
again reunited with Grandmom O'Riordan.
I love you."
Patrice" (age 15)
Now that you are
in heaven looking down upon us, you continue to stay in our hearts,
and in our souls. Our memories of you as a person on Earth are nothing
but forever cherished in our minds. Thank you for always being there
to support and guide us in our lives. You will live always and forever
in our hearts.
Fun, well read
Reader, computer, writer
He was very nice
What I remember
most about you is that you loved history, loved Ireland, and I love
you. Even though you were sick, I was still glad that I got to see
you again. You died the week of my birthday. I can still talk to you
during prayers at night. I'll never forget you.
I love you and
I love the chocolate-covered mints that you always had."
having you visit us on the holidays. I'm sorry you died, but you're
still alive in heaven with your brother and sister."
Your soul may
leave your body, but it will always be with us. It will never leave
our heart. You won't leave us behind because we are in your heart,.
When we think of you, you give us the power to be stronger. I will
think of you every day.
from Shannon" (age 8)
It made me happy
to hold on to your hands the day before you died. I knew you were
dying and your hands were so warm. I felt sad when I found out your
eyes closed for good. I'm glad my art work made you so happy!
I really love
To you, I love
Elizabeth" (age 6)
I am 5. I love
you! I'm glad you saw my new scooter before you died. I love you very
much and you will like heaven because I heard it is really nice and
the angels take care of you and you can jump from cloud to cloud.
I'm 2 and I can't
talk yet, but my mom says whenever I saw you I played with your I.V.
tubing and ate the desserts on your lunch tray!"
Daniels, age 2
O'Riordan, age 8:
"I miss you.
The teddy bear you gave me has only one arm and the guitar you gave
me got stepped on. But look at the bright side: you'll have a good
time in heaven!"
O'Riordan, age 5, says:
I love him. I'm
sad that you died. He gave me soda.
from John's daughter Beth
a bucket of twenties
Who is your favorite pope?
Who is your favorite president?
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Are you having any pain?
No, a little apprehension
I love you all
I AM RIGHT HERE
I AM RIGHT HERE
I AM RIGHT HERE
(Beth, age 38)
by John's wife,
Memories of That Proud Irishman"
We met on Sept.
14. On Sept. 18, at lunch in the Art Museum Azalea Garden, he told
me I "should be thinking about getting married." On Sept.
19, at lunch at the Fairmount Park "Whispering Bench", he
whispered "are you thinking about getting married?". On
Oct. 31, I dispensed 250 soft pretzels to his neighbors' trick-or-treaters
while he watched TV (a feat only John O'Riordan could pull off). Afterwards,
I asked if he'd join me in a cup of tea. He commented he'd "rather
join me in HolyMatrimony." I asked "would you like some
whiskey in your tea?"
On the first
Tuesday, following the first Monday in November, he had second thoughts
as he learned I was registered Republican. Indeed, it took him a while
to recover. He didn't mention marriage again until Thanksgiving, Christmas
and New Year's Eve. On his birthday, Feb.13, he and his brother James
left for a week in Ireland. While awaiting the plane in New York,
he called me (collect). He said "while I'm away, will you think
about getting married?" On my birthday in March, he sent me flowers
and a toy airplane. The attached card read "take a flier, be
And then there
was this day in May. Beth was driving and joking with me. John said
"show some respect to your future stepmother". Beth and
John then had a conversation about our "getting married."
I sat, very quietly, in the back seat. A few days later John told
me how happy Clare and Trish were to hear we were getting married.
I recall saying "you know, don't you, that I never said yes."
He replied "silence is consent.....oh, and next Friday night,
we're going to dinner at John, Jr.'s house."
On the way to
John's he told me it was an "engagement dinner." John, Jr.
was his charming self that night, toasting us and welcoming me into
the family, as I sat and wondered how this happened.
So that's how
I got to be Mrs. John O'Riordan. My only regret is that our years
together were too few and too fleeting. John was my role model of
unconditional love and my hero, and he'll live in my heart forever.
I'm honored to
Mrs. John O'Riordan
Page . Biography
Tributes . In
His Own Words
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