EUGENE FRANCIS ‘RED’ O’MARA
Eugene Francis “Red” O’Mara, Burlington, Kan., died Aug. 18, 2013, at Coffey County Hospital, after a short bout of cancer.
Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, at the United Methodist Church in Richmond, Kan. Burial with military honors will follow at Richmond Cemetery. The family will receive friends for visitation 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 23, at Jones Funeral Home in Burlington.
Red was born March 15, 1934, in Burlington, and was adopted by his great-aunt and uncle, Andrew “Dud” and Lela O’Mara. His early years were spent living in a boxcar with his folks who were employed by the Missouri Pacific Railroad. After his parents retired from the railroad, they owned and operated the City Café in Richmond, where Red attended and graduated from Richmond High School in 1952.
During high school, Red was drafted by the Kansas City Athletics and offered an athletic scholarship to KU. He decided instead to enlist in the Navy Active Reserve and then he enlisted into the Marine Corps and, after training, served as both a sniper and machine gunner in the Korean War.
Upon return from Korea, he became engaged to Jane Sigler and in 1954 they were married at the Mare Island Naval Base, Vallejo, Calif. He then attended Ottawa University, with the birth of daughter Robin in 1955 and son Mark in 1958.
In 1959, he reenlisted, however this time it was in the Army. He was assigned to the Army Security Agencies (ASA) at Fort Devens, Mass., and was initially trained as a code breaker. He served in the ASA through two tours in the Vietnam War and the birth of daughter Sara in 1969, until he retired with 26 years of service in 1979.
During the course of his services, he was wounded more than once; he was awarded the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit and five Bronze Stars among several other medals. He was hired by KG&E and Wolf Creek Generation Station as a security shift supervisor (Lieutenant) in 1981, and retired from the site in 1996.
In retirement, Red served on the Burlington City Planning Board and the Coffey County Hospital Board. He was also a volunteer at the hospital for 13 years.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, S. Jane O’Mara, and their three children, Robin Renner, Angleton, Texas, Mark O’Mara and wife Helen, West Lafayette, Ind., and Sara O’Mara, Huntersville, N.C.
Red and Jane have three grandchildren, Rachel Eggemeyer, Andy O’Mara and Shannon O’Mara, and three grea-grandchildren, Claire, Luke and Eli Eggemeyer.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to “American Cancer Society” or “Wounded Warrior Project” may be sent in care of Jones Funeral Home, PO Box 277, Burlington KS 66839.