Joseph Patrick Banahan, a lifelong resident of Rye, N.Y., who served his community as both a Rye police officer and volunteer fireman, died peacefully of natural causes on November 14, 2023, a few days before his 79th birthday, in New Rochelle, N.Y.
Born in Port Chester, N.Y., on November 19, 1944, Joe, as he was known, earned an undergraduate degree at Manhattan College and an M.S. in Criminal Justice at Iona College. His education laid the foundation for his distinguished career in law enforcement and public service.
From 1968 to 1988, Mr. Banahan served in the Rye Police Department, moving up in the ranks from patrolman to detective to sergeant. His commitment to the safety and well-being of the Rye community was unwavering.
He was also a dedicated volunteer member of the Rye Fire Department, retiring as a captain.
After he retired from the Rye Police Department, Mr. Banahan spent the next nearly 20 years as an insurance fire investigator.
Devoted to helping others, he was an Assistant Scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts, contributing to the growth and development of countless young men. As a Law Enforcement Officer Firearms Instructor, he ensured the proficiency and safety of his fellow officers. He regularly served as an usher at Resurrection Church. Mr. Banahan enjoyed the martial arts, particularly karate.
“He was always ready to lend a hand, share a joke, and offer encouragement,” said his family. “His inspirational life was filled with purpose and love, and he will be remembered for his warmth and kindness, as well as his occasional sledgehammer wit.”
In addition to his loving wife, Janet Banahan, Joe Banahan is survived by his four children, of whom he was extremely proud: Eric Bonnell (Lee Ann), Joseph Banahan Jr. (Sayoko), Carol Banahan, and Thomas Banahan. He cherished his grandchildren, Ian Bonnell, Morgan Banahan, Jack Banahan, and Teagan Banahan.
The family will receive friends at Graham Funeral Home in Rye on Sunday, November 26 from 3 to 6 p.m. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated November 27 at 10 a.m. at Church of the Resurrection. The Mass will be live streamed for those who are unable to attend in person. Donations in Joe Banahan’s memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.