Lucy Ann O’Mara

Jan. 20, 1942 - May 13, 2015
Lucy Ann O’Mara, Jan. 20, 1942 - May 13, 2015

Lucy Ann O’Mara of Amagansett, an Irish immigrant who honed her culinary skills as a household staff member in Amagansett and New Haven, died at Southampton Hospital on May 13 of complications from a long illness. She was 73.

A nature lover who especially savored spring flowers and the local wildlife, she was also a talented artist who sketched and did watercolor paintings. She loved trivia and world news, and enjoyed doing the New York Times crossword puzzle and watching “Jeopardy” daily.

She was “an energetic and amazing woman,” her family said.

Born on Jan. 20, 1942, in Cornascriebe, Portadown, in County Armagh in Northern Ireland, to Patrick Cunningham and the former Mary McKillop, she attended the Mullavilly National School and the St. Michael’s Grammar School for girls.

She came to the United States in 1967 and began working for the John Day Jackson family. In that post, her family said, she “witnessed a disappearing era of grandeur and sophistication,” and developed her expertise in and love of cooking.

Cooking was a passion, her family said, and “nothing pleased her more” than cooking for her loved ones and friends.

In 1969, she married Jimmy O’Mara, “the love of her life,” according to her family. They purchased their first house in 1972 and settled permanently in Amagansett. The couple adopted a daughter in 1980.

Mrs. O’Mara loved to travel and explore different cultures with her family. She routinely returned to Northern Ireland to visit family, and spent many summers in Carlingford, County Louth, where she loved to organize family reunions.

In 1995 she contracted polymyositis, a chronic disease, and for the last 15 years she had relied on a wheelchair.

“She handled it with grace and dignity,” her family said, and “was truly inspirational to her family and all who knew her.”

She is survived by her husband, who lives in Amagansett, her daughter, Justine Limonius of East Hampton, and a granddaughter. Three brothers, Tom, Brian, and Felix Cunningham, all of County Armagh in Northern Ireland, also survive.

Mrs. O’Mara was cremated. A funeral Mass was said on Saturday at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Amagansett.

Donations in her memory have been suggested to the Amagansett Ambulance Squad, P.O. Box 470, Amagansett 11930, or to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital at 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, Tenn., 38105.