John P. O'Hern, 63, of Barnum, passed away on Thursday, October 10th, 2019 at the Fort Dodge Villa Care Center.
A visitation will be held one hour prior to the services beginning at 12:00 PM Saturday at the Laufersweiler Funeral Home. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday October 26, 2019 at 1:00 PM in the Chapel of the Laufersweiler-Sievers Funeral Home with Msgr. Kevin McCoy officiating. Burial will follow at St. Joseph's Cemetery near Barnum.
Survivors include his brother, Joe (Lynn) O'Hern of Johnston and their children Julia, Erin, and Joseph, sister-in-law Patricia Brody and her daughter Maureen.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Margaret (Nash) O'Hern, brother Patrick O'Hern and sister Mary Ann O'Hern.
John Patrick O'Hern was born on May 23, 1956 in Webster County. He was raised in Barnum. John attended Phillips Academy in Andover, MA; later graduated from St. Edmond High School in Fort Dodge. He attended Grinnell College and later graduated from University of California Santa Cruz. Throughout his career he was involved in carpentry and built his own beautiful home in Aptos, CA. overlooking Monterey Bay. John always sought adventure in the outdoors. In the summer he worked on a commercial fishing boat in Alaska. Throughout his life John traveled and hiked through foreign countries and National Parks across the United States, often with his dog leading the way. In 2008, John moved back to Barnum and made his home in the house built by his father.
John loved spending time with his cousins and childhood friends. He deeply appreciated the time they spent visiting him in Barnum, going to lunch and playing golf. Because of their care and support he was able to maintain his independence as he dealt with the progression of Huntington's disease.
In Lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to the National Huntington Disease Society of America.
Hello to all,
I am saddened to read about John's death. I was happy to learn about how he lived. John was my room-mate at Phillips Academy my junior year. We were both scholarship students from the Midwest in our first year at Andover. I grew up in Minnesota.
I remember I was literally home sick my first week there. I can't remember if John had the same difficulty adjusting but I imagine he did. We supported each other through a challenging year.
One morning John invited me to join him in dorm kitchen. He discovered a food called English muffins and shared them with me. I had had never tasted a toasted English muffin with butter and jam either! It was delicious.
In the first day back to Andover for my senior year my dorm master told me John would not be returning to Andover. I got a new room mate from Ohio.
Over the years I tried to find John to see how he was doing. We never connected until today when I found notice of his passing in the Andover alumni magazine. Bye John. Thanks for the support so many years ago!
Chuck Smith, R.A. Fairport, New York [email protected]
John and I were incredibly tight for 25 years. I departed Mendocino County and we fell out of touch, I'm not into regrets, but I regret falling out of touch with John. We experienced so much together that is beyond imagination. We explored the west during the early 1990's, just John and myself plus his beloved Nuke which I would sometimes carry in my lap because he couldn't deal with being left alone in the back of the truck.. From Saline Valley to Monument Valley, to the Valley of the Gods, the headwaters of the Rio Grande, to walking down the wooden planks of Tombstone late at night admiring the bullet holes, we did it all, John was indestructible, I had seen him barehanded climb 150 foot trees, he was my inspiration for what a rugged dude could be. He always let me drive his Olds 442 to the max, blazing runs thru the backstreets of Ukiah, As awesome as he was, he never beat me on the golf course, thank goodness I could at least teach him something because he taught me so much. Gene Harrison, Minden NV
John was at one time married to my sister Jade (Jan) Sherer and during the time that he was a part of our family - he was always a very caring man. Our family enjoyed the times we shared with him. I am so very sorry for your loss and for the difficult times that he experienced. Blessings to all that loved him and cared about him. My prayers are with you. Barb Godwin
John O'Hern was a fine and deeply caring man. I had the honor of being married to him in 1988. Though the marriage did not last long, I always believed in John's good heart and know how much he deserved love. I grieve for the years he had to endure his disease and what I imagine was alot of loneliness and misunderstandings inherent in that. I throw out a big blessing of love to his spirit now and pray he is free from suffering. ~Jade Sherer ps. the photo was taken on the fishing boat he worked on in Alaska
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