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John F. O'Riordan - Tributes
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Clare

Hi, I'm Clare O'Riordan Daniels, John's fifth child and this is probably the only speech Dad didn't write for me.

The 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,

"WE HAD NOTHING IN COMMON"

For instance:
During one 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 probably Republicans."

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?"

"EGDAR ALLEN POE"

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."

"Wrong 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.

"DAD WAS SO IMPRESSED"

Our relationship 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 YOU."

and then I would always say, "IT WAS MY PLEASURE DAD, I LOVE YOU TOO."



Tributes from John's grandchildren

 

John Jr.'s children

"Throughout 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)

"Grandpop-

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.

Love, Meghan" (age 13)

"Grandpop
Fun, well read
Reader, computer, writer
He was very nice
Fun guy"

Kerry O'Riordan" (age 9)

 

Marty's children

"Grandpop,

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.

Martin" (age 8)

"Grandpop,

I love you and I love the chocolate-covered mints that you always had."

MaryKate O'Riordan, age 5

"Grandpop,

"I liked having you visit us on the holidays. I'm sorry you died, but you're still alive in heaven with your brother and sister."

Jake O'Riordan, age 4

 

Clare's children

"Dear Grandpop:

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.

With love from Shannon" (age 8)

"Grandpop O'Riordan,

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 you.

To you, I love you
Elizabeth" (age 6)

"Dear Grandpop,

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.

Love,
Robert Daniels" (age 5)

"To Grandpop from Brian.

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!"

Brian Robert Daniels, age 2

 

Trish's children

Patrick Loftus 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!"

John Quest O'Riordan, age 5, says:

I love him. I'm sad that you died. He gave me soda.

 

A tribute from John's daughter Beth

Need anything dad?
a bucket of twenties
Who is your favorite pope?
Pius XII
Who is your favorite president?
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Are you having any pain?
No, a little apprehension

I love you all
wheredidyougo?
I AM RIGHT HERE
I AM RIGHT HERE
I AM RIGHT HERE
(Beth, age 38)

 

Reflection by John's wife,
Mary Devlin

"Some 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 my wife".

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 be,
Mrs. John O'Riordan

 


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