Retired top cop Eddie raised £30k in wife’s name
Heartfelt tributes have been paid to a kindhearted local hero taken too soon.
Retired police chief inspector Eddie O’Hara was laid to rest last Wednesday after spending five months in hospital battling a
brain injury. The 63-year-old grandad, known throughout East Kilbride for his remarkable charity work in memory of his beloved late wife Linda, suffered a cerebral aneurysm following a fall at his Calderwood home in November.
Tragic Eddie, pictured right, passed away peacefully at Stonehouse Hospital on April 5.
Daughter Ruth said her dad was “a very special man who made me proud every day”.
The grieving family of retired East Kilbride police chief inspector Eddie O’Hara have paid a glowing tribute to their hero following his untimely death.
The kind-hearted 63-year-old grandad, who incredibly raised £30,000 for the Beatson through a charity in his late wife Linda’s name, was laid to rest last Wednesday.
Eddie served in the police service for 27 years before retiring to care for Linda after she was diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer.
He tragically suffered a cerebral aneurysm following a fall at his Calderwood home in November.
With extensive internal bleeding to both sides of the head, Eddie was told the odds of surviving brain surgery were against him.
But determined to hold onto life, he defied the odds and was able to spend five precious months with his family by his bedside.
After spending his final weeks at the brain injury ward in Hairmyres Hospital, Eddie passed away peacefully at Stonehouse Hospital on April 5.
His funeral service took place at St Leonard’s Church followed by a burial at the town’s Philipshill Cemetery where he was laid to rest alongside his beloved Linda.
An active parishioner at St Leonard’s Church and dedicated president of the parish’s Society of Saint Vincent de Paul charity – a shining example of how he devoted his time to those in need – Eddie was a remarkable force for good in the town.
He set up charity ‘Let’s Shout for Linda’ of which his family say he was immensely proud, in memory of his 52-year-old wife shortly after she lost her six-year cancer battle in 2006.
And, thanks to the generosity of the people of East Kilbride and beyond, the charity was able to donate £30,000 to the woman’s gynaecology ward at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre.
Eddie, a former pupil of St Bride’s High School, is survived by his son Alan, 38, daughter Ruth, 30, and seven-year-old grandson Declan.
Paying tribute to her dad this week, Ruth told the News: “My dad was completely fit and active and so full of life so this tragedy came as a huge shock to my family.
“My dad was a very special man. He achieved so much in life and has made me proud everyday.
“He had so many great qualities but I think the one that stood out the most was his kindness; he always made time to help other people. Dad’s passing will definitely leave a huge void in my life but I take comfort and smile when I remember the memories I have of a life well lived.”
Eddie was also quite the folk star in his younger years. His group The Flounder went on to play many concerts and gigs throughout Scotland, even performing on the same bill as Billy Connolly and the Humblebums at Glasgow’s Greens Playhouse.
Ruth also spoke of the special bond she shared with her dad, who she described as a “huge family man”.
Ruth, who was described during Eddie’s eulogy as his “pride and joy”, added: “We had a very special father/daughter relationship.
“Due to the nature of the injury, he never spoke after the fall.
“But the very determined man that he is, he was still able to communicate in certain ways.
“With my dad he only had to give a look and you knew what he was saying. I took comfort in that, it was really nice and reassuring. He was a fabulous man who will be greatly missed.”
After leaving school, Eddie went into hairdressing and, demonstrating his kind nature, styled residents’ hair at a local nursing home for free.
He went on to join the Glasgow police force in 1973 where he had an exceptional and illustrious career, eventually gaining the rank of Chief Inspector.
Eddie excelled in this role but never lost his sense of humour – entertaining his family with humorous stories including having to chase a bull through Hamilton town centre during a night shift.
The Retired Police Officers’ Association (RPOAS) Lanarkshire Branch paid tribute to Eddie in a statement on their Facebook page.
It read: “Eddie was a very popular shift member, renowned for his sense of humour and professional approach to his duties. He was a very positive officer and a pleasure to work with.”
Family man Eddie pictured with daughter Ruth at a ‘Teal Ball’ fundraising event for Linda’s charity at the Crutherland House Hotel in 2012 Together forever Eddie and Linda O’Hara on their wedding day in 1975