Robert ("Bob") P. O'Brien Sr., 76, devoted husband, father, and grandfather, passed away peacefully on January 15th after a long and courageous battle against Multiple Sclerosis. Bob was born to the late James and Marie O'Brien in Philadelphia, where he also met his beloved late wife of over 34 years, Rosemarie O'Brien.
Following his graduation from LaSalle University, Bob was drafted into the army and served honorably for three years during the Vietnam War, being promoted to first lieutenant and earning the Bronze Star. Upon his return from Vietnam, Bob earned an MBA from Temple University that opened the door for his first finance job at the Ford Motor Company in Detroit, MI. Bob and his family soon relocated to Farmington, CT, where he and Rosemarie raised their family and Bob held various finance positions over a 29-year career at the United Technologies Corporation.
Bob loved basketball, and even though his eventual Multiple Sclerosis diagnosis may have cut short his ability to run the fast break, Bob found ways to support athletics and instill a love of sports in his family and others. You could always find him on the sidelines cheering on his daughter playing volleyball and basketball or his son playing soccer, basketball, and baseball, when he wasn't coaching himself. If you ever visited him, there was a better chance than not that sports were on the TV, the volume inching up as the years went on. He was a staunch supporter of the Connecticut Special Olympics, where he helped conduct the annual Summer Games in New Haven.
Bob was also a devout Catholic, being an involved parishioner and Eucharistic Minister of the Church of St. Patrick in Farmington, where he served the Holy Sacrament to other parishioners and to residents of local convalescent homes.
Bob will be deeply missed by his two children, his daughter Colleen and her husband, Zac Pencikowski of North Kingstown, RI and his son Rob and his wife Dana of Needham, MA. Adoring grandfather of Eleanor and Henry Penbrien, and Conor, Declan, Finn and Maeve O'Brien. Brother of Jim O'Brien and wife Mary-Anne of Lancaster, PA, and his late brother Joseph O'Brien and late wife Eileen of Geneseo, NY. Bob is also survived by his dear friend, Elizabeth Tivnan, as well as loving nieces, nephews and cousins, many of whom still reside in the Philadelphia area. We are sure Bob would wish to express his gratitude to the caring staff of Tockwotton on the Waterfront, where Bob lived the last seven years.
A private service for family and friends in Bob's memory will be held in the coming months in Philadelphia where he will be buried next to Rosemarie.
Bob's fight against Multiple Sclerosis began in his early 40's, and his later years were a demonstration of both the unfairness of the disease and of Bob's incredible strength in enduring its challenges. He requested that any donations in his memory be made online to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (nationalmssociety.org) or at the mailing address of PO Box #91891, Washington, D.C. 20090.
Arrangements are in the care of the Home of J.H. WILLIAMS & CO.