It was a heartfelt morning at the Taco Comfort Solutions booth the Monday of the AHR Expo as Dan Holohan stepped to the podium to address Taco employees, members of the press, and well-wishers at the hydronics manufacturer’s signature bright-green-carpeted booth. For a beloved face was not there: John White III, who passed suddenly on November 3, 2022, at the young age of 35.

“John was patient. And he was also kind,” said Holohan. “He reached out to everyone and really listened to them. He wanted to know about you … and he never talked about himself unless you asked him. He poured out precious comfort to everyone he met.”

Many in the audience were in tears as John’s wife, Katelyn, came forward holding their little daughter in her arms. She shook Holohan’s hand as the family accepted, posthumously, the Dan Holohan Lifetime Contribution to Comfort Award on John’s behalf.

The award is given annually for an HVAC professional who has made a substantial contribution to comfort technology, advancement, or training or displaying the exceptional good humor and love of people exhibited by Holohan throughout his career.

“The day I retired in 2016, Johnny told me Taco was going to create an award in my name and they’re calling it the Dan Holohan lifetime contribution to comfort,” Holohan said. “I said, ‘gotcha.’ And it made me think about comfort. And not just the sort of comfort we deliver through the work that we do each in our own way, from the material things we acquire as we grow ― the nice house, the fancy car, the cozy chair. No, this award also made me think about another sort of comfort ― comfort that flows the other way, outward from us and toward others.”

John shared that kind of comfort last August when Holohan’s wife of 50 years passed suddenly and he was shattered.

“His time with us was brief, but he filled each day with love and caring for others and brought comfort to us ― thank God for him,” Holohan said. “I'll finish by telling you about a small bronze plaque that's on an old workbench just outside my apartment in the Maryland, where I moved to be closer to my daughters and grandchildren when God took the woman I married away from me. ‘Why?’ I asked ― ‘Why? And how can I go on?’ And then I saw the plaque on that bench and I hit my answer. There was a name on that plaque … and below, these words: ‘Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.’ John III happened ― thank God for that. And no one is more deserving of this Lifetime Contribution to Comfort Award than John Hazen White III.”