John O'Meara Jr. died on April 22 at age 58, and the memories and thoughts in this article attest to a much-loved man and musician who played in myriad Quad Cities-area bands in many genres.
O'Meara was born in Moline and graduated from Rock Island High School in 1974. He studied music at Black Hawk and Augustana colleges. His sister, Betsy McNeil, said highlights of his musical career included playing with Warren Parrish and Louie Bellson.
He was diagnosed with an oligodendroglioma brain tumor in 1992 and, following treatment, was declared cancer-free in 1996. In 2010, he was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.
Although cancer affected his physical ability, he continued to perform.
O'Meara is survived by his father John Sr., sons Levi and John Gabriel, brother Paul, sister Betsy, brother-in-law Dan McNeil, nephew Leo McNeil, and sweetheart Elisabeth Lockheart.
Memorials may be made to family at 1904 46th St., Moline IL 61265, and will be used for his sons and to buy a Fender bass for the River Music Experience's scholarship program.
Memorial events for O'Meara are being planned.