John Harney, 69, beloved husband, father, and friend passed away peacefully on Tuesday, September 28, 2021, at Yale’s Smilow Hospital surrounded by his wife and daughter. He was the only son of the late Beatrice Buckley and John Harney Sr.
John was born in the Bronx, NY, and attended Bishop Riley High School. He attended Baruch College where he earned both undergraduate and Master's degrees in Hospital Administration.
John devoted his entire career to helping others obtain the best medical care possible, becoming an extraordinary servant leader at several leading not-for-profit hospitals. He was the CEO at Lincoln Hospital in the South Bronx and the COO at NYU Hospital for 12 years. John was also the COO and then CEO of the University of Colorado Hospital in Denver until his retirement in 2015. Following his retirement, John served on the board of the American Heart Association and the Board of Trustees at Vitalant. John was a compassionate and skilled hospital administrator, respected and admired by the doctors, nurses, volunteers, and patients he engaged with every day.
In 1980 John married Maureen Pellman. Their 40 years of marriage were filled with endless love for each other, cruises around the world, and ski adventures with friends and family. Maureen and John’s first home was in Bayside, NY followed by a move to Westport, CT in 1992 where they raised their incredible daughter, Meredith, born in 1985. In 2008, John and Maureen moved to Denver, Colorado.
John fiercely loved the two queens in his life, his many adoring nieces, nephews, and cousins along with his countless friends who knew he was always available for them. He loved reading the NY Times print edition, decorating the house for the holidays, and hosting celebratory events. He will be fondly remembered for his infectious laugh, courage, sharp wit, and his always-hip avant-garde glasses.
In addition to Maureen, John is survived by his daughter, Meredith Cantatore, her husband Michael, and his newly born grandchild, Dylan John. He is also survived by his three sisters Margaret Remhild, Beatrice Meusberger, and Patricia Acker, and their beloved children. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends, but his legacy will endure in everyone whose life has been touched by John.
Friends and family are invited for visitation Thursday, October 14, 2021, from 3-5 pm and 7-9 pm at the Spear-Miller Funeral Home, 39 South Benson Road, Fairfield. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday, October 15, 2021, at 11 am at St. Luke Church, 49 Turkey Hill Road North, Westport, CT.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in John’s memory to the Pollyea Leukemia Research Fund at the University of Colorado Cancer Center, the Smilow Cancer Center at Yale, or St. Jude using the links below.
For friends unable to attend the funeral in person please use the following links to either stream it live or watch later. Go to www.stlukewestport.org Select Live Stream Mass and Click Watch Now or https://www.saintlukewestport.org/copy-of-live-stream-mass
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John P. Harney, please visit our floral store.
Pollyea Leukemia Research Fund at University of Colorado
1800 Grant Street, Suite 725, Denver CO 80203
The Smilow Cancer Hospital and Yale Cancer Center Closer to Free Fund
P.O. Box 1849, New Haven CT 06508
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105