Obituaries

Patrick James O'Reilly
Died: Nov 29, 2021

Patrick James O’Reilly

Born June 29, 1927, Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, England
Died November 29, 2021, Cortlandt Manor, New York, U.S.A.

Patrick, known as PJ to his family and friends, at the age of 94, died peacefully in his home this morning after a brief illness. He is predeceased by his wife of 63 years, Margaret (Dollie Jones), daughters Suzann Warden and Helene Burzi, and siblings Brian, Thomas, and Eileen. He is survived by his son Patrick O’Reilly, his daughter Bernadette Powers, 12 grandchildren, and his brother Sean.

While born in England, and he lived most of his life in America, PJ always regarded Ireland as home. His father was a school teacher, and packed the family off to stay with relatives in County Cavan as soon as school let out for summer vacations. At the age of 15, he was sent to board at the Jones family farm and attend St. Mary’s Apostolic School in Moyne. There he met his future wife, Dollie Jones. Upon earning his leaving certificate, he returned to England and enlisted with the British Royal Air Force, spending a happy three years of service stationed in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Upon discharge, he attended the University of Galway, obtaining a Bachelor of Commerce in 1951, and a Higher Diploma in Education in 1952. He was quite content as a teacher of English, Bookkeeping, and Commerce at the Omagh Technical School in Co. Tyrone, but his bride-to-be was determined they should live in America. They emigrated to New York City, and married in St. Elizabeth’s Church in Washington Heights in 1954. In New York, his foreign teaching credentials were not recognized, so he took an office job at the Chase Manhattan Bank headquarters. An MBA from NYU and four children soon followed, and he bought a house for the family in the Morris Park section of the Bronx in 1963. Upon his retiring from the bank after 35 years of service, PJ and Dollie moved to Cortlandt Manor, where they shared a home with his son Patrick, daughter-in-law, Karen, and grandchildren Susan and Mary. For some years he maintained a vacation home in the East Durham section of the Catskills, which reminded him of Ireland. He enjoyed long drives and travel, especially visiting with his grandchildren in Cincinnati, Ohio, Mike, Claire, Daniel and Sean Warden. He was also a devoted grandfather to his grandchildren closer to home, Thomas and Michael Burzi, and Brian, Caitlin, Brendan, and Sean Powers. He visited Ireland and England as recently as 2018, and he reminisced often of the great reunion with the extended Jones and O’Reilly clans. In his final days, he reflected on his life and relations with so much happiness, and without regrets.
He will be waked at Heritage Funeral Home, PO Box 325, 35 Morrissey Drive, Putnam Valley, NY 10579, on Friday, December 3, from 2 to 4 PM and 7 to 9 PM. A funeral mass will be held at St. Columbanus Church, 122 Oregon Road, Cortlandt Manor, NY 10567, on Saturday, December 4 at 11 AM. He will be buried next to his wife at the Assumption Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family would be grateful for a donation to the St. Columbanus Church.