West Side Irish American Club Honorees:
John William Lally: Man of the Year ☘
John was born on October 14, 1945 on the south-east side of Cleveland, to parents William and Pauline Lally, the middle child between 2 sisters, Katherine Norman and Carol Troy. He attended St. Timothy Grade School and Holy Name High School. John is proud that his Irish roots in Cleveland go back to 1850, when the Lally and Kane families lived in downtown Cleveland and were active members of Saint John’s Cathedral.
The Lally family came to Cleveland from Co. Sligo, and the Kane family came from Co. Meath. John’s great-great grandfather, Owen Kane, served in the 11th Ohio Volunteer Calvary Unit during the American Civil War.
The Lally Family has a long and proud history of law enforcement in Cleveland. John’s grandfather John F. Lally, his father William E. Lally, and his cousin William E. (Bill) Lally served and retired from the Cleveland Police Department. John also has two cousins who are actively serving on the Cleveland Police Force, John T. Lally and James Lally.
Four generations have now proudly worn Cleveland Police Officer, Badge Number 432. The family is in possession of the original nightstick issued in 1906 to John’s grandfather as he walked his beat. The impression of his hand remains embedded in the wood.
John graduated from Holy Name High School in 1964, went on to attend Cleveland State University and has been in the corporate accounting field for 50 years. For 20 of those years, he worked for Gould, Inc. and traveled to Gould Company Divisions in England, France and Germany. For the last 20 years, he has been the Controller at Federal Hose in Painesville.
In 1967, John married his high school sweetheart Rita Drvenkar. They raised two beautiful daughters, Meegan (married to Scott Spicer) and Sarah (married to Michael Pap). John and Rita are the proud grandparents of 6 grandchildren. John and his family have been members of the West Side Irish-American Club for almost 40 years. John served as the Chairman for the Saint Patrick’s Day Dance (former UAW Dance) for 20 years and as the Chairman for the annual WSIA Club picnic for 20 years.
John is an avid fisherman and has taught all his grandchildren to fish at the WSIA Club fishing pond. He spends much of his free time with his grandchildren at Irish dance competitions and at basketball, lacrosse and soccer games. His commitment to family, community, honor, integrity and hard work is indicative of all that makes the Irish great and, particularly successful in America
Tom & Kathleen Egan: Volunteers of the Year ☘
Tom Egan was born and raised in Shrule, Co. Mayo. He left Ireland at age 18 in 1956 and worked for two years in Birmingham, England before immigrating to the United States in 1957. He spent the next 37 years working for British Petroleum for 12 years in New York City, 2 years in Atlanta and the remainder of the time in Cleveland.
While in New York, Tom because very active in Irish circles, particularly the Fordham Irish American Club, and for two years wrote the “Fordham Notes” column for the Irish Echo newspaper. While in New York he met and married Kathleen Murphy from Co. Kerry. For the past 25 years he has been very active in the WSIA Club and served on the Board of Trustees for a three-year term, deciding not to run for re-election.
Tom was also the 1997 West Side Irish-American Club’s Man of the Year. He has been a very active member of the Committee responsible for the Ohio Irish Festival, Vegas Night and “25” Card Games. In earlier years Tom also played a major part in developing and implementing controls over the Bar Inventory and receipts.
Tom continues to play a big part in assisting Kathleen with the Tuesday cleaning teams. He has also volunteered for many other assignments over the years, including spraying for weeds and assisting Kathleen in maintaining the flower gardens
Kathleen Egan was born in Cordal, Castleisland Col Kerry. She immigrated to the United States in 1959, where she completed her education at Bryant High School and Dorothy E. Kane business school before being employed by Empire Mutual Insurance Co.
For the past 25 years Kathleen has been active in the WSIA Club and was Vice Chairman of the committee responsible for the Ohio Irish Festival. For several years she helped maintain the flower gardens around the Club and organized cleaning teams to be responsible for the upkeep of the Club. She was also an active member of the Committees responsible for “Vegas Night” and “25” card games and was selected as the 1998 WSIA Club’s Woman of the Year.
Bridget Mackin: Queen ☘
Bridget’s family has a long history in the foundation of the West Side Irish American Club. Her grandfather, Thomas Mackin, hailed from Clonbur, County Galway, while her grandmother Mary Coletta (Dever) Mackin’s family hails from Achill, County Mayo. On her mother’s side (McNamara), there are Irish roots that originate from County Clare. Bridget is the middle child of Tom and Bridget (McNamara) Mackin’s seven children.
Bridget has risen through the ranks as a marcher for the West Side Irish American Club. Starting at the age of five, she became a majorette, then a flag girl, moved on to pop-poms, and, in late high school, she joined the Ladies Drill Team, where she remains a member today.
Bridget attended St. Christopher in Rocky River and is a proud graduate of Magnificat High School, where she served many roles in Student Council and acted as senior class president.
Many summers were spent at Camp Christopher, working as a counselor for adults and children with disabilities. What once started as a high school sophomore service project, has progressed into a decade long activity leader position with Catholic Charities’ Recreational Respite Program, which serves teens and adults with disabilities.
Her journey then led her to become a ‘Buckeye for Life’ by earning a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene from The Ohio State University. Upon graduation, she was recognized by her professors and became the recipient of the Astrid Langell Memorial Award, awarded by the Dental Hygiene Department within The Ohio State University’s College of Dentistry “in recognition of (her) high professional ideals with enthusiasm for learning.”
Bridget started Irish dancing at a young age, and has many lifelong friends from those days. As a dancer for the Burke School of Irish Dance, Bridget’s greatest memory was getting to compete on the World Stage in Belfast, Ireland with her ceili team. Bridget was a member of the Ohio State Irish Dance Team.
After college, she moved back to the West Side of Cleveland and worked as a registered dental hygienist. After a few years of working in private practice, she decided to expand her scope of practice and graduated from an accelerated nursing program.
Life is full of opportunities and second chances; something she sees firsthand every day by working as a registered nurse on the Heart and Lung Transplant floor at the Cleveland Clinic
Outside of work and Respite, Bridget is on the Associate Board at the West Side Catholic Center, where she helps put together Sips & Swigs, their annual fundraising event that raises money to support the WSCC’s mission of being “grounded in faith, hope, love and respect for those we serve, the West Side Catholic Center assists all who come in need of food, clothing, shelter, advocacy and a path to self-sufficiency.”
Irish American Club East Side (IACES) Honoree ☘
Member of The Year: Mary Campbell Stack
Mary has many times been a behind the scenes volunteer for the Irish American Club East Side, Inc. Though still in high school when the IACES was formed, Mary quickly joined in the activities of the new club her father helped found. Mary enjoyed club dances, dinners, and shows with her family and friends, and even participated in the Rose of Tralee once. Never one to sit idle while others do all the work, Mary became a club volunteer.
Always willing to lend a hand and share her talents, Mary served the club in both official and unofficial roles. Officially, she served five terms as club Treasurer and one term as Member-at-large. Unofficially, Mary has volunteered in numerous roles.
In the greater Irish-American community, Mary is a familiar face, helping marshal the St. Patrick’s Day Parade with the United Irish Societies, volunteering as a tabulator for the Greater Cleveland Feis Society, and volunteering for the Irish Summerfest/Ohio Celtic Festival. She is also a member of Irish Northern Aid and the West Side Irish American Club.
Her volunteerism extends beyond the Irish community, as she serves on the Board of Directors for the Ohio First Class Credit Union, is active in her Democratic Ward Committee, and volunteers for the Letter Carrier food drive. Mary was a union steward who devoted much of her personal time to assist coworkers.
Mary is one of ten children, along with siblings Kathleen Cooper, John, Kevin, Jimmy, Ann Campbell-Dunham, Noreen Halley, Patty, Sheila Kropf and Brigid. Her parents, John and Patricia Campbell, demonstrated by example and Mary seamlessly attached to their efforts.
Mary graduated from Villa Angela Academy and received her bachelor’s degree in Economics from Cleveland State University. She worked at Made-Rite Auto Body Products, State Chemical, and has been a proud USPS Letter Carrier for almost 25 years. Mary and her husband, David Stack, are enthusiastic lifelong Cleveland residents and attend mass at St. Colman and St. Vincent de Paul.