New Hampshire Chess Association secretary Hal Terrie has sent us the sad news of the passing of John J. Hallahan, who died at age 80 on Saturday, June 14, at Villa Crest Nursing and Retirement Home in Manchester, NH. John Joseph Hallahan was born on August 12, 1927, in Dorchester, MA, the son of Jeremiah and Helen (Fitzgerald) Hallahan. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II and graduated from Boston College following the war. He earned a master's degree in library science at Simmons College in Boston. In 1951 John moved to Norwalk, CT, where he served as director of the city's public library from 1955 to 1966. In 1963, he was named Norwalk's "Man of the Year" for his community involvement. He subsequently moved to Manchester, NH, and was director of Manchester City Library for 25 years before he retired. He was instrumental in setting up the library's computer system, developing the library's West Side branch, and forming the Manchester Inter-Library Cooperative.
As one of the most active chess players in New Hampshire, John was on the board of directors of the New Hampshire Chess Association for many years and served as chairman of the NHCA publicity committee. He was also a member of the Massachusetts Chess Association for many years. John's participation in tournaments was extensive, ranging from all the major NH events (New Hampshire Open, New Hampshire Amateur, Queen City Open) and MA tournaments (Mass. Open, Greater Boston Open, Pillsbury Memorial, Mass. Game/60) to major regional tournaments, such as the New England Open, Eastern Class Championship and Bradley Open in Connecticut. He also competed in many U.S. Opens. His last USCF-rated tournament was the Queen City Open in February 2007. Following his retirement as library director, John was able to travel the world and play in many more tournaments.
He leaves his wife, Julia E. (Sarjeant) Hallahan of Manchester; four sons, Frances "Frank" B. Hallahan of Falls Church, VA, Bill I. Hallahan of Nashua, NH, Gerry H. Hallahan of Hoocksett, NH, Tom G. Hallahan of Manchester, NH; one daughter, Marie G. Patrick of Concord, NH; a sister, Eileen Hallahan of Brookfield, MA; nine grandchildren, many nephews and nieces. A funeral liturgy will be held Thursday, June 19, at 11 a.m. in St. Pius X Catholic Church, 575 Candia Road, Manchester, followed by burial with military honors in New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen. Calling hours are Wednesday, June 18, from 2 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. at Goodwin Funeral Home, 607 Chestnut St., Manchester. Donations in John's memory may be made to the Living Memorial Chess Fund, c/o Robert Messenger, MACA Treasurer, 4 Hamlett Drive, Apt. #12, Nashua, NH 03062-4641.
Obituary submitted by: George Mirijanian, Publications Coordinator
John Hallahan - may you Rest In Peace.