John J. “Pops” O’Brien

On April 14, 2021, the world lost one of its most colorful characters, John J. O’Brien, also known as “Pops”, of Weymouth, Massachusetts. John graduated from North Quincy High, where he played football as a tight end. He then went on to attend Northeastern University, graduating with a degree in Business. In 1966, as a successful entrepreneur, John and a business partner established Grinold O’Brien Sales company; an innovative business that was top in the country, representing manufacturers/distributors of automotive parts.
Though carrying many personal and professional accomplishments, Pops biggest pride and joy was his FAMILY, being a father to seven, and grandfather to thirteen. His greatest joy was spending time with his loved ones, including many family gatherings on Lake Winnipesaukee. John was also an avid New England Patriots fan, holding season tickets for 30 plus years. Deemed a super fan, his sons later gifted him his own designated seat at Gillette, marked with his name on a plaque. Safe to say, the pregame tailgate parties were legendary, much like every place that Pops attended, as he was the life of the party.
Many people have fond childhood memories of Pops, from his “Public Welcome” signage inviting people to the back yard pool, to his infamous “DQ trips.” He would jump into his signature Cadillac, and beep the horn twice. Family and the neighborhood kids come from all directions, squeezing into the car for the ice cream trip. Never forgetting the kids that couldn’t fit, John would be sure to return with a few bags of Buster bars. Leave it to Pops.
John approached life with a mind over matter mentality. His charismatic, stubborn, and a persuasive personality allowed no task to be deemed unachievable. It was this same mentality which allowed him to complete 9 marathons: 7 New York and 2 Boston. The training, although fueled by a can of carb-filled Budweiser, was nothing short of intense. After each race, Pops would add his running shoes to the “sneaker tree” in the backyard, which was accompanied by a sign reading “This tree grows 2 feet every year.” John certainly had a taste for the unique, summarized by his wooden sculpture collection he adopted later in life. One of his original pieces in 2010 was a 9ft rendition of King Kong, weighing over a ton. Safe to say, it did not end there, eventually ending up with a whole backyard of “zoo” animals. Of course, all were welcome to come and visit.
At age 75, Pops got his first tattoo of his seven kids names and the words “End. Final.” That was a symbol of his quirky humor, that at age 75 he was done having more kids.
John is survived by many, including his loving wife, Pamela O’Brien, along with the seven kids and their spouses: John O’Brien and his wife Ellen of Plympton, Doug O’Brien and wife Sandy of Weymouth, Mark O’Brien and wife Karen of Whitman, Scot O’Brien and Sandy Martin of Hanover, Keri Dezell and husband Jim of Pound Ridge, NY, Erin Langhorst and husband Steve of Marshfield, and lastly Michael O’Brien of Weymouth. Pops grandkids Brosnan, Faith, Khelsea, Dougie, Andrea, Michelle, Patrick, Scotty, Ivy, James , Max, Frankie, and Joe will never forget their Pops. They’ll always carry his spark, humor, strength and love in their hearts. Special mention to the many Godchildren, nieces, nephews, siblings and friends, who all added to his wonderful life. God Bless You Pops, we love you, you did it YOUR WAY.
In celebration of his life, a Mass will be begin at 10:30am on Tuesday, April 20th at Sacred Heart Church in Weymouth. Those who would like to attend are asked to preregister by clicking here. The service can also be viewed live by visiting the Sacred Heart Parish channel. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice of the South Shore, 30 Reservoir Park Drive, Rockland, MA 02374.


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23 Condolences

  1. John Dionne on April 16, 2021 at 10:15 pm

    Thank you so much “Uncle John ” for a lifetime of memories. I had experienced many of those DQ trips as a child. I fondly remember borrowing “Pops” Cadillac back in 1984 for high school prom. You’ve left us with a lot of great memories, inspiration and love.
    We’ll miss you ❤

  2. Glenn Davis on April 16, 2021 at 10:26 pm

    Doug and Sandy, sorry to hear of your loss, accept my sincere condolences. I will keep you all in my thoughts and prayers

  3. Sharon mcinnis on April 16, 2021 at 11:07 pm

    Oh boy Heaven is in for a treat,Praying my Nicole gets the pleasure of meeting one unique soul, Always made you feel special in his own way, Never will forget those Venetian trips for pizza and beverages , May he rest in the sweetest peace, Always loved and never will be forgotten, Love you Uncle John Rest in the sweetest peace till we meet again. Love Sharon (niece)

  4. Mike Molisse on April 16, 2021 at 11:24 pm

    My Sincere Condolences in the loss of such a Great man a True Friend to the Molisse Family for over 50 years all my to the OBrien Family! Sincerely Mike Molisse

  5. Dave Stratton on April 16, 2021 at 11:36 pm

    What can be said about John…everything imaginable and with great enthusiasm, laughter and everlasting memories. I know his wonderful image will live on with all who had the privilege to experience John. I am proud to have had the joy of knowing and working with him…a true G.O.A.T. He lived, worked and played as hard as anyone I have known. May God bless John and all of his family.

  6. Chip Spear on April 16, 2021 at 11:44 pm

    Condolences from my wife Debbie and i to Pam,Jay,Doug and the entire O’Brien clan .John was the number 1 character in my 43 years in auto parts. What a life.

  7. Robbie Riefberg on April 16, 2021 at 11:54 pm

    John was truly a remarkable guy. All smiles all the time. Boy I remember those orange sneakers!! He will be missed. I am privileged to have known John, his personality was a great example for all of us.


  8. Suzanne Melody Dakin on April 17, 2021 at 12:50 am

    John, Doug, Mark, Scot, Kerri and Erin,
    I’m thinking of you all.
    I promise, your memories and love for each other will get you all through this sad, sad time.
    So many great memories of the infamous G&O van!!
    All my love – Suzie

  9. Paula Beard on April 17, 2021 at 1:37 am

    Erin, My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. May your Dad rest in sweetest peace.

  10. Peggy Bice on April 17, 2021 at 3:46 am

    Of course I never met your father, Keri, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt he was a remarkable man to have raised a woman as strong and beautiful,, both inside and out, as you, My deepest condolences to your family.

  11. Laura Gedutis-LeBarron on April 17, 2021 at 4:01 am

    Condolences on your tremendous loss and so much love to all of you. John was a good guy, a generous friend and a great neighbor. ❤️

  12. Mike Burns on April 17, 2021 at 12:17 pm

    Doug and Sandy,

    Sorry to hear about your dad. Although I only met him a few times he was always fun and colorful to be around and so full of life.

    My thoughts are with you and the family.


  13. Deb Payne on April 17, 2021 at 1:16 pm

    To all of the wonderful O’Brien family, My deepest condolences. John was truly such a fantastic person and his warm smile and genuine eye contact always made one feel so special. Another angel in Heaven now. God must need his many talents . I can only imagine how proud of all of you he must have been. RIP John You truly left a permanent mark on this earth

  14. Heather Thompson on April 17, 2021 at 3:45 pm

    My childhood would not have been the same without your Dad and the O’Brien family. Our Dad’s have been reunited in heaven as they were growing up in Quincy. The family outings on the Cape, Chappins beach, boating (flipping over on road and waterskiing), Sunday drives ending up at O’B’s for hours or overnight were just a few memories. I loved your Dad and I loved our Dad’s together with endless laughter. Thank you John Sr, for all the special times our families shared. You will be missed, RIP ❤️

  15. Paul Chiavaroli on April 18, 2021 at 1:46 pm

    Sending love and prayers Paul and Susan Chiavaroli

  16. Peter Hogan on April 18, 2021 at 8:28 pm

    I consider myself so fortunate to have met, worked with and become friends with such a wonderful man. My sincerest condolences.

  17. Lisa Lehane on April 19, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    Pops, you lived life to the fullest and made everyone feel welcome along the way. Thank you for always being so kind to us.

  18. Diane paluzzi on April 19, 2021 at 8:27 pm

    My prayers are with him. We had fun

  19. Carolyn Shea on April 20, 2021 at 9:20 pm

    So very sorry for your loss, what a wonderful story of love and life. Our thoughts and prayers to Pops and his family.
    Our Deepest sympathies.
    The Shea Family

  20. Murray Tree co. Rick. Eric. Matt. on April 23, 2021 at 2:06 pm

    Rest in peace John it was a pleasure working for you and getting to know you. My sons & I loved & respected you very much. We recognized you as the incredible man, person, father, businessman,
    competitor, grandfather and all around awesome human being. My sons and I had the extreme pleasure of setting up King Kong in the back yard with you.A fond memory that we will have to share forever. I hope your transition from the mortal world to the spirit world was smooth
    .. I will see you when I crossover
    We will never forget you as anyone who knew you

  21. Michael Lappen on April 23, 2021 at 2:30 pm

    Our thoughts and prayers go out to the entire O’Brian clan. The product lines and service your dad brought us, through Grinold & O’brien helped our company become become more and more successful, but, it was his sense of humor, warmth and infectious smile that I remember most. Also his love of running which he shared with Joe Lappen. If there are marathons in heaven, I’m sure the two will be running side by side.

  22. Little Chic on March 31, 2022 at 9:44 am

    Pops missing you …just reading peoples messages here. You are so loved always ! Proud of you. OBRIEN ❤️❤️

  23. Erin on April 12, 2024 at 11:37 pm

    My Pops…. I love you a whole bunch

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