The death has occurred of Thomas O'Halloran
Detroit, Michigan, USA and, Kinnitty, Offaly
Thomas O’Halloran passed on June 4, 2022 and is survived by his wife Joan, Gary Kavanaugh (Therese), Scott Kavanaugh (Bridget), and Karen Kavanaugh and five granddaughters, Kathleen, Erin, Megan, Elizabeth, and Anna.
Tom was born on July 8th, 1932, the only child of Thomas O’Halloran and Mary Ann Feighery. Tom’s mother died 8 days after his birth and his father died a year and half later. His Grandmother, Maggie Feighery and his several beloved aunts and uncles raised Tom in Kinnitty, Ireland.
Tom’s love for music started early when he learned to play the accordion by ear. By 14, Tom was playing the accordion at weddings and dances. In 1950, at the age of 18 Tom moved to Coventry England to work at General Electric. In 1955 Tom married Kathleen Murphy and in 1956 they moved to Hamilton,Canada where Tom worked at Westinghouse Corporation. In 1957, Tom and Kathleen immigrated to Detroit where Tom got a job at G.A.F. Printing Company. In 1960, Tom along with Jim O’Neill and Pete Neary, and others, founded the “Irish Thirty-Two County Club” at the Bonnie Brook Country Club in Detroit. The group sponsored Irish music and dancing on Sunday evenings for many years.
In 1969, Tom and Kathleen opened O’Halloran’s Tipperary Pub in Detroit. The “Tip” soon became the home away from home for Irish immigrants, their children and their children’s children. Long before the fame of “Riverdance” and the “Lord of the Dance”, the Tipperary hosted the Irish Rovers, the Dubliners, the Wolf Tones, the Clancy Brothers, Michael Flatley, and many more. Tom was particularly committed to offering the stage to new musicians and groups and encouraging their growth. The Tip was the first bar in Michigan to serve Guinness.
Tom was committed to the preservation and sharing of Irish culture. He was a member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, the Irish Bar Owners Association of which he was a founder and President, the Gaelic League of Detroit, Friendly Sons, and the Knights of Equity, and one of the founders of the Detroit St. Patrick Day Parade. He was also a supporter of St. Patrick’s Senior Center in Detroit and sponsored numerous Irish immigrants as they settled in America. In 2000, Tom was honored as Grand Marshall of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
After a private battle with cancer, Kathleen died in 1989. Seven years later, Tom fell in love again with Joan Kavanaugh who herself had lost her beloved husband Ken years before. They married in 1996.
They enjoyed traveling back to Ireland every year to visit family and friends. And while Joan came with her three children, and over time five granddaughters, Tom also came with five nieces who became beloved to Joan as well. He had a special love for animals and had several dogs, cats, and birds.
He held a deep faith and was known for his incomparable kindness.
Darcy Funeral Directors
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