Joan O'Mara

Joan O'Mara

1923 - 2018

Share Your Memory of

Obituary of Joan O'Mara

Joan O’Mara died peacefully in her daughter’s home on Tuesday October 2, 2018, in Santa Barbara, California at the age of 94.

Joan is survived by her daughters Patricia Durham and Elizabeth Prescott, her two step children Brian O’Mara and Kathie Kottler, and six grandchildren: Andrew Williams, Sean Rohall, Hannah Prescott, Kyle O’Mara, Thomas O’Mara and Kevin O’Mara.  She is preceded in death by her husband Patrick Francis O’Mara who passed away in 2001. 

Joan was born on November 13, 1923 in Cleethorpes, England to Charles and Elizabeth Jameson. After serving in the British Army during WWII, she entered the Foreign Office and was deployed to Austria, Lebanon, Germany and Egypt.  It was during this period she developed her love of travel and adventure—befriending people from all over the world. Later, while visiting her sister in the United States, she met and married Patrick O’Mara, a renowned history professor and author, in 1959.  

Shortly after starting a family, Joan decided to re-enter the workforce to use her excellent short-hand and organizational skills to become a successful executive secretary. 

In the early eighties, Joan and Patrick retired, first to Cambria, and then Morro Bay on the Central Coast of California.  It was during this time that Joan forged many relationships. Her quick wit, sense of humor and openness endeared her to her family and friends. She loved her grandchildren, animals, nature, and music.  Believing tea was the cure-all for all the world’s issues, she was especially happy when sharing a cup with her dear friends and PEO sisters.

During the last few months of Joan’s life, an army of loyal friends visited her each day.  Not one for solemn occasions, Joan decided to forego a funeral.  She prefers people remember her as she was at her lively Moroccan themed 90th birthday party with belly dancers and live quartet.  A private, family memorial dinner will be held instead, per her instructions. 

The family is eternally grateful to her friends and our dedicated team of caregivers, as well as the exemplary team from Visiting Nurses and Hospice Care.  In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Visiting Nurses & Hospice Care at 509 E. Montecito, Suite 200, Santa Barbara CA  93103.