Broadcast journalist Hoda Kotb is grieving the passing of her late dear friend and famed restaurateur, Jimmy Neary, who died recently at 91 years of age.
Hoda Kotb announced on her Instagram on Friday, October 8, that her friend Jimmy Neary passed on in a heartfelt tribute alongside heart emojis, writing:
“Jimmy Neary…always smiling. RIP, sweet friend. We will miss you.”
Kotb posted a snapshot whereby she held an up-close photograph of Neary flashing wearing a suit and glasses with the words, “James ‘Jimmy’ Neary | September 14, 1930 – October 1, 2021.”
Her post was flooded with messages of condolences from her Instagram followers, who shared their memories of the much-loved Neary.
One person commented, saying Neary knew how to make everyone feel welcome, adding she lived right around the corner of his restaurant and loved his special place. The user noted it would not be the same without his cheerful greeting.
Another Instagram user said they had known him for over 40 years, sending thoughts to his daughter and family. The follower said Neary was a quick-witted kind man.
The New York restauranteur ran one of the city’s most popular establishments, Neary’s, and continued to work until he suddenly died on October 1 after celebrating his 91st birthday.
In an interview with the New York Post in 2013, he said life is lovely because everyone is smiling, referring to locals, celebrities, and politicians who adored him.
The Irish man added they might have appeared sour when they entered his place of business but would not be when they exited after talking to them.
Neary’s daughter, Una Neary, revealed before he passed on that he had gone to his Manhattan apartment during the night of September 30 after closing his restaurant for the day.
She told Newsday her father appeared in good spirits and health before he passed, adding she told him she loved him and that she would pick him up the next day.
However, when he did not show up as per their agreement, she went to check up on him and found out that he had died peacefully in his bed.