Robert O’Brien

Robert O’Brien passed away peacefully in the care of his wife of 35 years, Denise O’Brien on November 2, 2018, at Kaplan Hospice House, in Danvers, Massachusetts. Robert is the youngest child of Charles Scott O’Brien and Phyllis Gormley O’Brien of Lynn, MA. He is preceded in death by his brother and sister in law Wallace and Barbara O’Brien, and his daughter Elizabeth O’Brien and her husband Dennis Mosley.

Robert is survived by his sister Suzanne Durkin and her husband James of Salem, MA. His surviving children are his son Robert O’Brien and his wife Janice of Barnesville, GA, and his daughter Bonnie O’Brien Petitt and her husband Greg of Linwood, NJ. He leaves 6 grandchildren:Bonnie’s children Sam, Julia, Jack, Alexander, Elizabeth’s son Patrick, and Robert’s son John and his wife Felicia. He also leaves one great grandchild John’s son Daniel. In addition he leaves behind many nieces and nephews.

Robert shared his strengths of determination, unwavering optimism, and entrepreneurship with his children, who have continued to share those qualities with their own children. Family meant everything to him and during the final days of his illness Robert expressed his love explicitly to his children. He took the time to be sure to let his close friends and family know how much they meant to him. Robert took comfort in knowing that his children would carry on his legacy of open friendship, kindness, and love.

Robert’s optimism, determination, and spirit of adventure enabled him to live out his dreams. He enjoyed a lifetime of driving beginning with his earliest adventure of owning and driving an asphalt modified race car at The Pines Speedway, in Groveland, MA. He was able to see the world as a motorcoach tour driver and later owned his own tour bus company in Salem, MA. Robert’s love of the open road continued as he moved to Covington Township, PA where he owned and operated a dump truck in the Pocono Mountains. He returned to racing in a dirt modified race car at Mocatek Speedway at Lake Ariel, PA.

Robert followed his passion for driving down the open road when he started his own trucking operation between Pittston, PA and Jonesboro, GA. He moved with his family to Jonesboro, GA to take advantage of the weather, state parks, and Atlanta Motor Speedway. Robert worked many years with Jones Transportation near Atlanta GA. Robert and Denise enjoyed riding on horses, cars, trains, hot air balloons and even zip lines. He loved classic cars and had fun touring and showing them at car shows in Georgia.

Robert journeyed across the continent over the ALCAN Highway and across the Gulf of Alaska in his boat for one more adventure. He took advantage of opportunities to travel and explore the land and sea near his final home in Valdez, AK.

Robert’s final act of courage was to continue the fight against cancer by donating his tissues to a research project with Massachusetts General Hospital. Through this he will help to find a cure to spare others the pain of cancer and the loss of loved ones.

Robert wished to keep his services to a minimum, preferring cremation and small family gatherings. His adventures gave him many stories and he hopes his loved ones will share their stories of love, humor, and life with each other at their convenience. Condolences may be sent to the O’Brien Family at PO Box 1467, Valdez, AK 99686 or to the children’s addresses.


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18 Condolences

  1. Ruth Knight on November 5, 2018 at 11:08 pm

    Dear Denise, Patrick and family,

    We are so sorry for your pain and loss. Please know that you have been and are in our thoughts and prayers asking for the good Lord to give you the strength, courage, and fortitude to accept this and to guide you in your way forward. If you can think of anything you need to help ease your way, please do not hesitate to ask.

    With deepest sympathy,

    Ruthie and Alan

  2. Coach dolores Owen on November 6, 2018 at 12:15 am

    Necie: So sorry for your loss. God has called home another angel. If you need anything, please call. My prayers are with you and your family. Lots of Love, Coach owen

  3. Beth Killingsworth on November 6, 2018 at 12:25 am

    Denise, I am so very sorry for your lost! Peace and blessings to you and your family. Much love, Beth

  4. Marsha Brewer on November 6, 2018 at 12:30 am

    Can’t believe Bob’s gone to keep Aaron company in heaven!!! My love and sympathies to your family. Take care of you, my sweet girlfriend!!
    Love, Marsha

  5. Sherry Shaw on November 6, 2018 at 12:42 am

    I am so sorry for your loss. I am praying for all of you. Love you, Sherry Shaw

  6. Esperanza Jones on November 6, 2018 at 1:38 am

    Denise, I am so sorry for your loss. Praying for peace and strength for your family. Love, Esperanza Jones

  7. Tami Bentler on November 6, 2018 at 1:50 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss, you’ve been through a lot. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
    With my deepest sympathy,
    Tami Bentler

  8. Lillian Puchalski on November 6, 2018 at 1:54 am

    I enjoyed spending time with you when you came to visit Rocky Dee sister.My prays will be with you. You lived a good life and left many great memories. With sympathy /.

  9. Jennifer Kelly on November 6, 2018 at 2:40 am

    Dear Denise and Patrick,
    We are so blessed to have you be part of our Valdez family. We will sincerely miss Bob and his gracious good humor. I know you will each carry these gifts of his with you. But such a loss. My prayers go with Bob on his journey and with you as you miss him. Much love to you both.


  10. Linda Cassidy on November 6, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    Dear Denise, and Family,
    Although I was not in touch with Bobby since I left Michaud Bus Company many many years ago he was thought of often. When ever there was a gathering of old employees, or a meet up over the years with someone from there, his name always came up in conversation. He always had a smile for those he met, and something to make them laugh. He was a hard worker but he enjoyed what he did and adventure. I remember Bonnie and her brother from when they were small and I send my condolences to them as well.
    Bless you and your family!
    Linda Ripley Cassidy

  11. Kim Keller on November 6, 2018 at 4:54 pm

    Dear Denise and Patrick,
    We love you and will be ready to support the two of you, however necessary, upon your return to Valdez. You are both in our prayers.

  12. Ann Norris on November 6, 2018 at 5:06 pm


    It is a beautiful obituary for an obviously special man. Our prayers for you and Patrick continue for your days ahead.

    With love,
    Kipp and Ann

  13. Andrea Galbreath on November 6, 2018 at 6:26 pm

    Dear Mrs. O’Brien and Patrick,

    It was my honor to be there during your and Mr. O’Brien’s time of need. The thought of knowing that Mr.O’Brien is in the presence of our Savior can be of some comfort, especially when we have the confidence that our savior resides in us. Just know that my arms are wrapped around you both during this time of loss. Mr. O’Brien will always have a special place in my heart to draw strength, courage, and tenacity for life. Take care of each other.

    Peace be with you,

    Andrea G

  14. Kipp Norris on November 6, 2018 at 7:25 pm

    Looking forward to seeing you back here in Valdez. Know that we want to support you and your grandma. You’re both special people, and we miss you. Like Mrs. Norris commented earlier, you are in our prayers and will continue to be. We know it’s a difficult time. Hang in there and let us know if need anything.

    Kipp Norris

  15. Pam Thompson on November 6, 2018 at 10:27 pm


    I never got to meet your husband, but I saw the love for him in your eyes every time you spoke of him. It looks like your journey with him was spectacular and forever engraved in your heart and mind. So, he will never be any further away than your heart or mind. When the flow of tears are wiped away each time they flow…..that love you will possess forever will continue to be seen in your beautiful eyes.
    Praying for healing for you and Patrick and all those hurting at this time.

  16. Angela Alfaro on November 6, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    Dear Denise and Patrick,
    It was a pleasure to meet your husband and grandpa, Bob. We are so sorry for your loss and are sending you strength and love to get through this trying time. You have an extended family in Valdez and want you to know that if ever in need do not hesitate to reach out.

    Safe travels home.

    The Alfaro Family

  17. Uncle Tom (sarge) Pemkiewicz, MSG USA RET on November 8, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    Denise, Patrick, Bobby Jr and to all his family and friends, there are no words I can say to make this pain go away for either of us. I feel so bad for not being able to talk to him one last final time. Our friendship began in 1999 at Jones Transportation while backing up a big rig in Chattanooga, TN. We hit it off right from the start. A friendship and bond that grew stronger by the many days and nights we rode across America together. I have many memories and inspirational moments from Bob Sr. We knew more about each other’s lives and family than most folks. From Denise serving in the U.S.Marines and how they met, Bobby’s marriage to Janice, to the loss of Patrick’s mom and dad, to that last cup of coffee we shared outside of Dallas while showing me pictures of his new home and dream in Alaska. A positive thinker whos cup was always half full. From Skid, to Thumper, Bobby Jr and me (Uncle Tom) and to all who had the honor and pleasure of having Bob Sr in our lives, his spirit will never die, but will burn forever in our hearts. God has truly blessed us all.

  18. Chuck O'Brien and Terry on November 10, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Dear Denise, Patrick and family.

    Chuck and I are so sorry for your loss. I am so glad we got to see him and spend a little time with him the summer before last. Our prayers and thoughts are with you. He will be missed by the whole family. God be with you.

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