James T. O'Heir
1931 – 2012
WAYNESVILLE — James “Jim” O’Heir, died June 16, 2012, at MedWest-Haywood Regional Medical Center.
He was the oldest of eight children of James and Virginia O’Heir, of Chicago. Jim was pre-deceased by his parents; first wife, Beverly; brothers, John and Richard; sister, Mary Louise, and a granddaughter, April. Jim very proudly served 20 years as a hospital corpsman in the U.S. Navy. Combat service included the Korean War, where he was twice decorated for treating wounded Marines, receiving two Purple Hearts for his own wounds. His last oversea duty was as medical administrator of the Naval Support Force, Antarctica, where he was again decorated for rescue of a severely injured shipmate during the Antarctic winter, the first ever mid-winter flight. After Navy retirement, he worked in the development of the Illinois EMS System, the first state-wide EMS program in the country, and as a consultant for other developing EMS systems. His last position was with the Spinal Cord Injury Program at University of Miami. He retired to Haywood County in 2005.
He is survived by his wife of 23 years, Nancy O’Heir; four children, Michael, Lynn, Suzanne and Mark (Laurie); three grandchildren, Heather, Sean and Jim; two great- grandchildren, Isabella and Nikolas; two brothers, Robert and William; and two sisters, Patricia and Virginia. He is also survived by three step-children, Lisa (Bob), Jennifer and Richard (Julie); nine step-grandchildren, Jonathan, Kristina, Reece, Delaney, Colton, Kira, Jocelyn, Nicole and Jessica.
In accordance with his wishes, his body has been donated to medical research.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 30, in the Waynesville Chapel of Wells Funeral Home with the Rev. Kitty Crain officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior.
Memorials may be made to the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society (nmcrs.org).
An online memorial register is available at www.wellsfuneralhome.com.