BYRON — Timothy James O’Hare, 64, of Byron, is now at perfect peace after a long fight. He passed away on Dec. 26, 2022. He was surrounded by his loving family and caregivers during his last days of life.
Tim was the middle son of Tom and Iris O’Hare. Tim was born on Nov. 19, 1958 in Dixon. He has been a trooper since he was a little boy, overcoming club foot and bell's palsy. Tim's strong work ethic started early, as he grew up on a farm. He loved bringing his Dad sandwiches while he was working in the field. He had a love for all animals and participated in 4H. While in school, he enjoyed playing many sports. Tim graduated from Stillman Valley, class of 1976. Tim married the love of his life, Lynn, on Aug. 25, 1984. They settled and started their business, O’Hare’s Hairport, in Byron.
Tim was a family man. Most would say he never met a stranger. His pride and joy were his kids: Dane and Kelsey. Tim was a barber for over 35 years. He was proud of the fact that he had given over 201,000 haircuts during his career. Tim loved his customers, barbershop, and fellow barber, Rob Hunter, something fierce. His customers always left with a little more than a haircut, they got a “Tim Token” which was a piece of advice, joke or life lesson. If you had the privilege of walking into Tim’s shop you’d see his love for the Chicago Bears, Chicago Cubs, NASCAR and the Byron Tigers. When Tim wasn’t working, he loved spending his time outdoors. He spent many weekends camping and most recently was getting into Volkswagens - with Rob’s influence. Tim enjoyed doing yard work, gardening and was always so proud of his home-grown tomatoes. He loved cooking on the grill and made many tasty meals for his family over the years. Tim and Lynn are proud of the fact that they were able to design and build their dream house together - a log cabin in the country. Tim was a Mr. Fix-It and was always just a phone call away.
Tim fought a long and hard battle, with his first diagnosis being in September of 2006. In March of 2007 Tim’s family and friends hosted a marrow and blood drive in his honor. Tim’s Drive for Life had record breaking totals with 100 people signing up as new organ and tissues donors, 280 people donating blood and 801 people joining the national marrow registry. Tim and Lynn traveled to multiple different states for care, during the 16 years of illness. Tim had surgery in May of 2015 to remove thyroid cancer in Houston, Texas and underwent a stem cell transplant in May of 2016 for myelofibrosis in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His wife, Lynn, was his primary caregiver and went to the ends of the earth to provide him with the very best care. Tim was proud of the fact that both his daughter Kelsey and son-in-law Scott were able to pay it forward and donate life. Tim touched many people’s lives with his strength and positive attitude. In the words of Tim, “Keep the Faith, Keep the Hope, and Remain Driven.”
Tim’s legacy lives on with his wife, Lynn, and their children Dane (Sharon Anderson) O’Hare and Kelsey and Scott Stolte, his special cats Finley and Dakota, mother Iris (Smith) O’Hare-Empen and brothers Mike (Joni) O’Hare and Jim (Kelly) O’Hare and families, dear friend Rob (Jill Jackson), Susan, Vance and Maggie Hunter. Aunts Patricia (O’Hare, Shewmon) Piwonka, Geraldine (O’Hare, Glendenning), and Beryl (Smith, Blumeyer), along with many special cousins that meant the world to Tim and were always there to support him.
Preceded in death by Father Thomas O’Hare, Grandparents Arthur and Ruth (Knapp) O’Hare, Harry and Marguerite (Bornemeier) Smith, Uncles Dick (Shirley) Smith, Bruce Shewmon, Floyd Glendenning, Andy Piwonka, Aunt Lynn Ehnen, along with In-Laws Russell and Bettie Skildum.
Tim’s family wishes to give the utmost thanks to his friends in the community for the years of emotional and financial support, as Tim fought the good fight. Much love and appreciation for Tim’s Village, which includes the doctors and nurses nationwide that have cared for Tim. A special thank you Serenity Hospice and his nurse, Sarah.
Memorial donations can be mailed in Tim O’Hare’s honor to Serenity Hospice & Home at PO Box 462, Oregon, IL 61061.The family is working with the Rock River Blood Center in hopes to create an annual blood/bone marrow drive in honor of Tim O’Hare. We will provide more information when we have finalized the details. Tim’s wish was to have family and friends join together to celebrate his life and share memories. His family will be hosting a celebration of life open house at The Pavilion (PrairieView Golf Course - 6734 N German Church Road, Byron, IL 61010) on Sunday, Jan. 22 from 1-5 p.m.