John Patrick O'Hara, a well-known commercial real estate adviser and manager, died Friday at his home. He was 55 and lived in Bayport.
"He worked his way up from minor sales to become one of the top commercial real estate brokers in the area," brother Kevin McGuire of Manhattan said.
McGuire said his brother loved the water and visited beaches around the Caribbean, where he enjoyed scuba diving. "He also loved boating."
O'Hara was the managing partner of Sperry Van Ness/Realty Three Advisors LLC in Holbrook. He specialized in land sales and development, arranging for construction of more than 3.5 million square feet for manufacturers and office and warehouse users.
He was appointed to the New York State Real Estate Board in 2011. That year, he received the Long Island Business News Top Commercial Development Project Award for the Brookhaven Rail Terminal project in Yaphank, the first public rail yard on Long Island, according to his biography on the website of the Brookhaven Industrial Group, of which he was president.
O'Hara last year represented the sellers of the famous Wardenclyffe property in Shoreham, once owned by Nicola Tesla, the famous Serbian-American scientist who invented key components of modern electricity and radio. The nonprofit Tesla Science Center at Wardenclyffe hopes to turn the site into a museum and research center.
"It's been a long process and I'm very happy that they got it," O'Hara told Newsday at the time. "And I'm willing to work with them from now until they put the key into the door of the museum."
"He just loved life and seemed like a big kid at times," said his brother-in-law, Steven O'Donnell of St. James.
O'Hara, who grew up in Mount Sinai and attended Dowling College, was married but had no children.
O'Hara also is survived by his wife of 22 years, Lorraine; four other brothers, Brian McGuire of Bayport, William and Frank O'Hara, both of Sarasota, Fla., and Roddy O'Hara of Manhattan; and five sisters, Pamela O'Hara and Margot Hanson, both of Sarasota, Julie Cicero of Clearwater Beach, Fla., Irene DaSilva of Bellport and Kathy Bower of Cutchogue.
A service was held Tuesday at Mary Immaculate Roman Catholic Church in Bellport. A private cremation service was held Wednesday.