American Veteran 01

John T. O'Leary, Sr.

February 17, 1925 ~ April 6, 2021 (age 96)

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AOH: 3:45pm

South Amboy Fire Department: 4pm

South Amboy Knights of Columbus: 4:15pm


John (Jack) T. O’Leary, Sr., 96, of South Amboy passed away on Tuesday April 6, 2021. He died peacefully at home surrounded by his children and grandchildren. Jack was born on February 17, 1925 and he was a lifelong resident of South Amboy.  He started working with his Uncle John Dooling at the age of 11 and quickly learned the electrical trade.   On June 29, 1942 at the age of 16 he joined the Navy (with some finagling) and served in WWII aboard the USS Admiral RE Coontz AP-122. During the war he became a member of the “Domain of the Golden Dragon”, an unofficial but highly coveted award of the US Navy.   He joined the South Amboy Police Department in 1955 and served 35 years before retiring.  During this time and long after retiring from the SAPD he continued his work as an electrician and became owner of Dooling Electric. Jack is a member of St. Mary’s R.C. Church, South Amboy, an honorary life member of the South Amboy Knights of Columbus Council 426, a member of the American Legion Luke A. Lovely Post 62, South Amboy, VFW Post 335 Cranford and a charter member of the South Amboy Ancient Order of Hibernians where he was honored as Hibernian of the Year in 1998. He served as Grand Marshal of the South Amboy St. Patrick’s Day Parade in 2002, received the Blue Badge Award from his peers for saving a life in 1972, a life member of the Protection Fire Dept. in South Amboy, a member of the South Amboy PBA Local 63, and NJ State PBA, Retired Local 600.

Jack was very proud of his Irish heritage.  He enjoyed his horses and bringing out the sled or carriage for a turn around town.   He was sometimes spotted at a local tavern bringing the pony in for refreshments.   Jack always enjoyed a good joke but most of all telling one.  He loved to be with family and was always up for a picnic, reunion or gathering of friends. He was a strong patriarch of his family, a good friend to all, a man who would give his shirt for a friend.

He was a good father who always took care of his children and did the best he could to teach and guide them, a loving grandfather and great-grandfather.

Jack was a strong, proud and good man. He is loved and will be missed by many!

Son of the late Thomas and Catherine (Dooling) O’Leary he is also predeceased by his wife Mary G. Lanza O’Leary in 2006; his brothers Thomas O’Leary and William O’Leary and his sisters Sr. Marie O’Leary, RSM of the Watchung Community and Joanne Donnelly and her husband John “Ace”. He is survived by his daughter, Joanne Katko and her husband Kenneth of South Amboy, grandson Kenneth Katko, Jr. and his wife Susan and great-grandson Kenneth, III and granddaughter Kaitlyn Feret and her husband Christopher; his sons, The Honorable John T. O’Leary and his wife Kathleen and grandsons John, Patrick and  Ryan Liam;  William O’ Leary and his wife Susan and grandchildren Richie, Heather & Hayley; and Thomas O’Leary and his wife Susan and grandson Thomas all of South Amboy; many nieces and nephews and dear friends too numerous to name and his cats Thelma & Louise.

Funeral services will be held on Monday April 12, 2021 at 9:45am from The Gundrum Service “Home for Funerals” 237 Bordentown Avenue, South Amboy followed by a 10:30am Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mary’s Church. Interment will be in St. Gertrude Cemetery, Colonia. Visitation will be on Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Sisters of Mercy Watchung, NJ.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John T. O'Leary, Sr., please visit our floral store.


April 11, 2021

1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
The Gundrum Service
237 Bordentown Ave.
South Amboy, NJ 08879

Mass of Christian Burial
April 12, 2021

10:30 AM
St. Mary's Church
256 Augusta Street
South Amboy, NJ 08879

April 12, 2021

St. Gertrude Cemetery
53 Inman Avenue
Colonia, NJ 07067

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