Tributes & Stories

 

Obituary (GA): James Patrick O'Reilly '50

Posted on 07/11/2018

James Patrick O'Reilly, age 90, of Roswell died July 6, 2018. Mr. O'Reilly was the son of James and Helen O'Reilly of New York City. Mr. O'Reilly was a graduate of the Naval Academy (1950). He was a veteran of the Korean War, serving aboard the destroyer, U.S.S. McCaffrey. He later was captain of the minesweeper, U.S.S. Redpole, which won the Navy E under his command. He was a pioneering officer of the nuclear navy and served as chief reactor officer aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, the U.S. Navy's first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. Following his service in the Navy, Mr. O'Reilly worked for the Atomic Energy Commission, and its successor organization, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). In the NRC, Mr. O'Reilly rose to become Director of Region 1, which covered the northeastern states. Mr. O'Reilly later served as Director of Region 2, which covered the southeastern states. After government service, Mr. O'Reilly worked for Georgia Power as Senior Vice-President of Nuclear Operations, after which he went to operate his own consulting business which serviced the nuclear industry. For many years he was active in the parish of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Hartwell, Georgia, where he chaired the Finance Committee, served as a lector, visited the sick in nursing homes, and was active with Meals on Wheels. Later as a resident of the St. George Village community, he served as a lector, and visited the sick and brought them Holy Communion.

Mr. O'Reilly is survived by his second wife, Ann O'Reilly; the children from his late wife of 62 years, Jane O'Reilly (d. December 19, 2014); James O'Reilly (Arantxa), Kevin O'Reilly (Debbie), Thomas O'Reilly (Chantima), Steven O'Reilly, and Maureen Stewart (Scott), and daughter-in-law Sheryl O'Reilly, wife of his late son Chris O'Reilly, d. 2016; 19 grandchildren and 2 great-granddaughters; 3 step sons and 6 step grandchildren. Mr. O'Reilly loved fishing and sailing on Lake Hartwell. He was an avid football fan of the U.S. Naval Academy and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. He will be dearly missed by family and friends. A funeral mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 at 10:30 am at St. Peter Chanel Catholic Church. Flowers and/or donations made to St. Vincent de Paul are welcome. The O'Reilly family will receive friends on Tuesday from 5-7pm at Northside Chapel Funeral Directors, Roswell, 770-645-1414. www.northsidechapel.com O'Reilly, James

Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution from July 9 to July 10, 2018