Those We Lost


Imprisoned twice for his republican activities, Cronin left the IRA in the early 1960s and returned to the U.S., serving as the first Washington correspondent for The Irish Times until 1991. He also wrote numerous books and pamphlets, including “Washington’s Irish Policy 1916-1986.”

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said of Cronin, “Seán supported the peace process and offered advice and help.”

Cronin’s first wife, Terry, passed away in 1977. He is survived by his second wife Reva Rubenstein Cronin, a step-son Philip and two step-grandsons. Cronin’s ashes were scattered in Iveragh, Co. Kerry.

– K.R.

Lawrence F. Hickey
1910 – 2010

Lawrence Hickey died at his home in Manhattan on March 28. He was 90.

As benefactor and board member of Astor Services for Children and Families from 1981 to 2004, Hickey helped acquire the Little Red School House in the Bronx. The building, which houses an early development program for children with emotional and mental disorders, was later named in his honor.
Born in Brooklyn, Hickey earned a B.A. from Notre Dame. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II before joining his family’s construction business. For his charitable work, Hickey, who was also a board member of the Kennedy Child Study Center, received several awards and honors. He is survived by a son, Frank, daughters, Elizabeth, Magee and Jane, and 11 grandchildren.

Hickey’s life will be celebrated at a fundraiser to benefit the Lawrence F. Hickey Center in Manhattan on May 14. His daughter, CBS newswoman Magee Hickey, will perform with several other newscasters from different stations. Call 845-871-1171 for details.           

– K.M.

Ellen McCormack

Ellen McCormack died on March 27 in Avon, Connecticut. She was 84.

In both 1976 and 1980 she ran for President as a pro-life candidate.  In 1976, McCormack won 238,000 votes in 18 Democratic primaries, and 22 delegate votes at the Democratic National Convention. She ran again in 1980 under the Right to Life party and qualified for the ballot in three states and won more than 32,000 votes.

McCormack was born Eleanor Rose Cullen on September 15, 1926. He mother was born in Co. Leitrim, one of 16 children, and  immigrated to the U.S. at age 16. McCormack’s father emigrated from Co. Wicklow as a child.

McCormack  began to focus on the issue of abortion when it became legal in New York in 1970. She soon became a member of the Pro-Life Action Committee. Her husband, Francis, passed away in 1993. She is survived by her daughters Kathleen, Anne and Ellen, a son, John; grandchildren; and great-grandchildren.                      

– K.M.

Brian O’Connell

Charity advocate Brian O'Connell died at this home in Chatham, Mass on March 21 after a battle with cancer. He was 81.

O'Connell is best known for co-founding the Independent Sector, an organization that represents the interests of charities, foundations and nonprofit giving programs in the US, often before Congress. Since 1980, O'Connell served as the organization's first president and CEO until he retired in 1995.
O'Connell spent his life helping others. He started his career as director of the California affiliate of the American Heart Association and then became the director of the National Mental Health Association for 12 years, starting in 1966. During this time, he organized the National Committee on Patients' Rights. In 1978, he became the president of the National Council of Philanthropy and executive director of the Coalition of National Voluntary Organizations. O'Connell received many honorary degrees and awards for his work.

Born on Jan. 23, 1930, in Worcester, M.A., he graduated from Tufts University in 1953, where he later helped found the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service. The school awarded him the Tufts Distinguished Alumni Award and established a library in his name, which holds 14 books he wrote, his most recent being a memoir, Fifty Years in Public Causes: Stories from a Road Less Traveled.

O'Connell is survived by his wife, Ann, three children, Todd, Tracey Sperry, and Matthew, brothers Jeffrey and Thomas, sister, Jesslyn McNamara, and six grandchildren.                                    
– K.M

Vincent O’Leary

Vincent O’Leary, former president of SUNY Albany, passed away at the age of 86 on April 22, 2011 in Gaithersburg, MD from complications from a fall.

O’Leary was born on July 31, 1924 in San Francisco, CA. In 1948, he graduated from San Francisco State College with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and earned a master’s degree from the University of Washington in 1956.