Joseph Edward O’Hara
OCEAN CITY–Joseph Edward O’Hara, age 83, of Ocean City, died Monday Nov. 11, 2013 in Salisbury. He was born in Janesville, Wis. to the late Joseph O’Hara and Hazel Sennett O’Hara.
Mr. O’Hara’s first career of 33 years was in information technology. The first 13 years was at the National Security Agency, where the Navy assigned him, and later as a civilian employee. He wrote software for the first IBM commercial computer.
In 1960, he left NSA to start Datatrol Corporation, a computer service company. Joe was vice president and technical director. The firm grew to more than 100 employees. It merged with Control Data Corporation in 1965. Control Data Corporation was the second largest manufacturer of computers at that time.
Mr. O’Hara was the general manager of the subsidiary. In 1967, Joe returned to government service. He was in charge of Information Technology at the Office of Education when he retired in 1980. Mr. O’Hara was one of the first to receive the designation “Certified Computer Professional.”
The family moved to Ocean City where Mr. O’Hara started his second career in real estate. He worked for Anderson Stokes and later for O’Connor, Piper and Flynn. He retired for good in 1996.
Mr. O’Hara was very active in environmental and fishery management activities. He helped draft the Fish and Wildlife chapter of “The Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan for Maryland’s Coastal Bays”.
For many years, he represented recreational fishing on the Coastal Bays Program’s Citizens Advisory Committee. Since 1997, he took monthly water samples at his home in Ocean City. The Maryland Coastal Bay’s water quality volunteers were honored with the Worcester County “You are Beautiful Award” and the “Governor’s Service Award” in 2011. Joe served on the Department of Natural Resources Coastal Fisheries Advisory Committee. Mr. O’Hara monitored Maryland Wildlands that had been donated to the state by the Nature Conservancy. He was a monitor at the Nature Conservancy’s Nassawango Creek Preserve. He maintained a boundary line at the preserve.
At the federal level, he was an advisor to the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council. He was one of the biggest critics of the National Marine Fishery Service’s procedures for counting the recreational catch.
Joe enjoyed wildlife photography, fishing, golf, bowling, woodcarving and watching Redskins football games. He was a member of the Ocean City Elks, Coastal Conservation Association, Ward Museum, and the Nature Conservancy.