Carl O’Gara was born March 26, 1926 in Bessemer, Alabama, the son of John J. O’Gara (RIP) of Donegal, Ireland and Myra P. O’Gara (RIP) of Alabama. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Dorothy G. O’Gara, his sister Myra Gallagher (Robert RIP) of Coventry, RI, daughter Mary O’Gara of El Cajon, CA, sons John R. O’Gara (Amy) of Fair Haven, MI and Michael O’Gara (Nanette) of Spring Valley, CA, six grandchildren,
Jennifer, Patrick, Hannah, Timothy, Connor, Jack, a great grandson Braeden, and 18 nieces and nephews. His early childhood was spent in Alabama and Tennessee where he learned to chase water moccasins from the swimming hole with his Aunt Ikie. He moved to Boston, Massachusetts when he was 8 years old when his father found work at the Boston Navy Yard. He enjoyed his childhood there and had a multitude of stories about his gang of friends, including his interaction with them as a 5’ 10”, 120 pound linebacker. As he matured, he attended Boston Latin School and Dorchester High School. Due largely to his father’s Army stories of WWI, he enlisted in the United States Navy in 1944 at the age of seventeen.
He served in the European Theater in WWII where he defeated the Nazis and frightened the Japanese enough to surrender prior to his scheduled arrival in the Pacific. He was recalled to active duty for the Korean War, where he served gallantly aboard the 6th Fleet Flagship, USS Des Moines, in the Mediterranean. It was also at this time that he found the Grace to convert to Catholicism, to which he remained devout throughout his life. He was employed by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation as a radio operator in San Diego between the wars, where he met and married the love of his life, Dorothy, in 1951. With her help, he earned a degree in Political Science from San Diego State University (1964) in just three years and graduated as a Special Agent from the FBI’s Agent Training School at Quantico, VA later that same year. He served at offices in Butte and Great Falls, MT from 1965-1966 and was then sent to Detroit, MI from 1966-1977. While in Detroit he purchased a sailboat and became quite an accomplished skipper on Lake Saint Clair. He was later transferred to Sacramento, CA in 1977 where he stayed until his retirement in 1984. He and his family moved to El Cajon in 1992 to be nearer family. He was an active pitcher and first basemen for the La Mesa Senior Softball League until 2008 where he enjoyed the camaraderie as much as the game. He also enjoyed reading, golf, sailing, photography, Pete Fountain’s Dixieland Jazz, and especially his grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:
St. Jude’s Childrens Hospital