John V. McNamara Profile Photo
1954 John 2023

John V. McNamara

August 10, 1954 — December 20, 2023

Omaha, Nebraska

John McNamara died unexpectedly at his home in Omaha, Neb. on Dec. 20th. He was one of a kind - strong in his faith, proud of his Irish heritage, and delighted by his daughters and grandchildren; family meant everything to him.


Born and raised in Rock Valley, IA to Irish immigrant Vince and Kansas native Ruth (Drinnen) McNamara, he graduated from Glidden High School in 1972 and went on to earn his bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in Criminal Justice in 1976 and his law degree from Creighton University in 1979. He practiced law for more than 40 years, retiring at the end of 2022. And while he valued the work he did in his private practice, empathizing with his clients and helping them to navigate difficult situations for the best possible outcomes, his proudest accomplishments were the women who called him Dad, and their children.


Early on, he showed his three daughters a love for family time with vacations to Lake Okoboji, Washington D.C., Disney World, the mountains of Colorado, and Big Sky Country in Montana, where his sighting of a black bear (cub) got more dramatic with every telling. He also enjoyed trips to the Omaha Zoo, the movie theater, and metro area swimming pools, where he never thought twice about jumping in with the kids. 


He was a birthday card connoisseur, known for selecting cards with animals or something that would elicit a chuckle. Whoever got him the birthday card that got the biggest laugh felt like they had won the lottery. At major family events he was an early adopter of the over-the-shoulder video camera and would often narrate from behind the scenes, being very specific about the date, time, temperature and direction of the wind. 


His verbosity as an attorney carried into his ability to talk about random subjects for unlimited amounts of time, the latest of which was the Kelce-Swift relationship, though he would never admit it. A long-time Chiefs fan, no one appreciated their recent Super Bowl victories more than John. He also loved the Chicago Cubs, often forcing his family to listen to staticky radio play-by-play on trips to visit his parents. 2016 was a good year for John. 


His love for his daughters was immense, but his love for his grandchildren was immeasurable. From births and baptisms to basketball games and birthday parties, he was a fixture. Even if he did have an unorthodox way of holding newborns, his face was always in awe. While he frequented the sidelines of the big kids’ activities, simple Saturday morning visits with the littles buoyed his spirits as he loved observing the chaos and could hold a conversation through it all. Unless the Creighton Bluejays were on TV. If basketball was on he needed to be at home in front of the TV questioning the eyesight and sanity of the referees. His alma mater was a huge point of pride for him.


When John told you what time he would be somewhere, you could add at least 30 minutes to that. This was a characteristic he passed on to his daughters, which has since been dubbed “McNamara Time.”  Halloween was a favorite holiday, and he loved to tag along with trick-or-treaters delighting in their running from house to house. At Christmastime, he frequented Target, buying gift cards for everyone because he never quite figured out the sizing for children’s clothes and that was more than OK with the recipients. He himself was notoriously hard to buy gifts for, but one could never go wrong with a book or a gift card for books. He saved and shelved them all. He loved the written word including novels, newspapers and art projects signed by his grandkids. He displayed them and their pictures proudly throughout his home.


In full disclosure, John wasn’t exactly a model driver, infamous for passing multiple cars at a time on Highway 30, pushing an Aerostar to its brink in Colorado and for his hurling of an excessive amount of coins at a tollbooth in Florida. He ate pizza and Freddy’s way more than he let on and fed his grandkids more quarters than was reasonable to play the claw machine at arcades. He loved a good ice cream cone after a ball game, of which there were many, and his side commentary was the most memorable as he was quite the observer of human behavior.


While his family will long for one last conversation over a box of pizza, one last show of support on a milestone occasion, and one last epic one-liner, we will count our blessings for the words we did exchange, all the times he was present in our lives, and all the memories he left us with.




John is survived by his three daughters: Nicole Lindquist (Rob) of Council Bluffs, IA; Rachel Nun (Nick); and Ramey Stillman (Joe) both of Omaha; grandchildren Faith, Gabby and Calvin Lindquist; Will and Jim Nun; and Vincent Stillman; Sisters Nancy Schaeffer and Susan Maynes; Brothers Tim and Dave McNamara (Trisha); 11 nieces and nephews, and extended family and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents Vince and Ruth McNamara, and infant grandchildren Oz and Bo Nun. 


Visitation will take place from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 4th with a Memorial Service on Jan. 5th at 10:30 a.m. both at John A. Gentleman Mortuaries 72nd Street Chapel. In lieu of flowers, family will direct memorials. 


John A. Gentleman Mortuaries
1010 North 72nd Street

Omaha, NE 68114

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of John V. McNamara, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, January 4, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

John A. Gentleman Mortuaries - 72nd Street Chapel

1010 N 72nd St, Omaha, NE 68114

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Friday, January 5, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

John A. Gentleman Mortuaries - 72nd Street Chapel

1010 N 72nd St, Omaha, NE 68114

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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