The Bible never mentions potholes on the streets of gold in Heaven. If there are, former editor-in-chief Jody O’Hara is reporting on them from his mansion.
A local celebration of life took place this past Saturday in McHenry for late editor O’Hara.
O’Hara reported for the Stone County Enterprise from the summer of 2008 until he was diagnosed with cancer in the spring of 2020. During those years, he endeared himself to many residents for his writing and community service.
“Jody may not be remembered worldwide…but he will certainly be remembered by the lives he touched in this community,” older brother Elton O’Hara said.
The services at Trinity Funeral Home in McHenry were attended by eight members of O’Hara’s immediate family, two former coworkers, and two community members.
Pastor Tommy Jones, who was a personal friend of O’Hara’s, presided over the service.
Jones was road manager for the county when O’Hara was first starting as a reporter in Wiggins. Jones said he was always impressed by O’Hara’s dedication to fairness and the truth.
“It caught us all by surprise when Brother Jody passed away,” Jones said.
Before the service, Jones said God laid it on his heart to preach from the first chapter of Genesis.
It was the only instance in 30 years of preaching that the verses felt appropriate for a memorial service.
He read the story of Creation before relating it to O’Hara.
“Then, God created a man like Jody who could take that camera and remind us of God’s goodness,” Jones said. “He could remind us of the changing of the seasons. He could remind us of floods and disasters with a camera and a pen. He could remind us of wildlife that was out and about.”
Jones said O’Hara was a man of service and community.
“He was willing to fight for his country and willing to make a difference for the kids in the community,” Jones said. “At Christmas time, he wasn’t the man at the newspaper; he was Santa Claus.”
Jones said no matter how hard it is to realize O’Hara’s death, we should all rejoice in knowing he is in a better place.
“Today, we know where he is at,” Jones said. “And I’m sure he is reporting all the grandeur of Heaven while he’s there.”