John Dunleavy, former chairman of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, died Oct. 26. He was 83.
Dunleavy served as chairman from 1993 to 2015 and had been an active member of the committee since 1967, serving as formation chairman, treasurer and vice chairman.
Born in Coole, County Westmeath, Ireland, Dunleavy left Ireland for London in 1956 before coming to the United States in 1963. After three months in the United States, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served in Hawaii.
Following his two years in the U.S. Army, Dunleavy became a bus operator for the Manhattan and Bronx Surface Transit Operating Authority and worked there for 25 years until his retirement in 1990 as general superintendent. He met co-worker Frank Beirne, who said volunteers were needed to organize marchers at the formation point of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Dunleavy volunteered and later became parade chairman, running the operation from his home before obtaining a small office in the Bronx.
He enjoyed gardening and golfing, and was a founding member of The Links at Unionvale, a golf course in Dutchess County.
He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Maureen Kellett; daughters, Catherine Holzman and Patricia Bishop; five grandchildren, Charlie, Jonathan, Arthur-Ryan, Sean and Madison; great-granddaughter, Lyra Rose; and siblings, Maureen Smith, Patsy Dunleavy, and Mel Dunleavy.
A Funeral Mass was celebrated Oct. 31 at St. Margaret of Cortona Church, the Bronx. Burial was in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne.