Dr. George O. P. O’Doherty, 79, accomplished chemist and father of five children, died Monday, Nov. 9, 2015, after a short illness.
A devout Catholic, he spoke six languages, loved music, poetry, foreign travel and draft Guinness. He was a life long member of the American Chemical Society and the National Rifle Association.
Born in Derry, Northern Ireland, he attended Saint Columb’s College and then University College Dublin, where he earned a B.S. and Ph.D. in chemistry. He was a lecturer at the School of Pharmacy in University College London, when he was recruited to work for Eli Lilly Research Laboratories in Greenfield, Indiana. He worked at Lilly for 34 years, publishing more than 30 patents and papers. His work focused on anti-parasitic drugs for animals, which lead to a post-retirement position consulting for the World Health Organization.
His love of languages and travel brought him to six continents. He especially loved Barcelona. When stateside, he preferred rural settings, especially his home on 40 acres of pasture and woods.
He was an early fan of National Public Radio and a one-time liberal who voted for Jesse Jackson in the 1984 Democratic primary. But his political leanings shifted right, and he embraced Midwestern conservatism in his fifties. He amassed an impressive gun collection, subscribed to Shotgun News and The American Spectator, and enjoyed quoting Rush Limbaugh to his liberal children.
He was the eldest of seven children, including Kathleen Sharkey, Dolores Bonner, Geraldine Gallagher, Ann O’Neill (deceased) and his brothers, Brendan and Billy Doherty. He was married to fellow Ph.D. student, Dr. Josephine Daly (deceased). They had five children and later divorced.
He is survived by Mary (Alice Lyon) of Louisville, Ky., Una of Philadelphia, George (Xiaomei Yu) of Boston, Ma., Fionnuala (Marcelino Naranjo-Rivera) of Queens, N.Y. and Joseph (Hulya Sener-O’Doherty) of Mamaroneck, N.Y. He had nine grandchildren: Joseph, Liam, Nuala, Patrick, Peter, Lila, Maya, Taylan and Orhan.
Visitation will be held from 4 – 8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, at Conway Funeral Home, 82-19 Northern Boulevard, Jackson Heights, NY 11372, with Latin Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015, at St. Mary’s Church 70-31 48th Avenue, Woodside, New York 11377.
Donations to Catholic Charities in lieu of flowers, please.