Monday, November 2, 2009

In Memoriam: William J. O'Brien 1925 - 2009

CCGS member and retired patent attorney of West Yarmouth, MA, William "Bill" O'Brien passed away quietly at his home on Sunday October 25, 2009, at age 84.

Bill and his surviving wife Ethel (Morris) joined the Cape Cod Genealogical Society in 1998. Bill served on the Reception Committee in 2002, and was a regular member of the Irish Special Interest Group.

Bill was born in Everett, MA., the only child of William P. and Gertrude E. (Dolan) O´Brien. He grew up in Everett and after graduating from Everett High School class of 1943, he was drafted and served in the 97th Infantry Division of the United States Army in the European and Pacific Theater from 1943 - 1946. He served with distinction and was awarded numerous medals including the Combat Infantry Badge, the Bronze Star and two Battle Stars.

Upon being honorably discharged, Bill returned home to graduate from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, in 1950. After a brief career with First National Foods, he returned to school, at Boston College Law School. He then worked at the Patent Office in Washington D.C., while attending Georgetown Law School in the evening. He graduated in 1957. He returned to Massachusetts where he worked for over 30 years in Waltham, MA., as a Chemical Patent Attorney for the U.S. Air Force.

In addition to tracking down his ancestors, Bill was an avid outdoorsman who enjoyed trapshooting, hunting and fly fishing. He was actively involved as a coach in youth sports and the Boy Scouts. He was a member of the American Bar Association, a fourth degree member of the Knights of Columbus, The Elks and many other civic associations.

A Funeral Mass to celebrate his life will be held on Saturday November 7, at 11am at Saint Pius X Church, Station Ave., South Yarmouth. Burial with military honors will be in Chandler Gray Cemetery, West Yarmouth. In lieu of flowers gifts in his memory may be made to the New England Home for Little Wanderers, 271 Huntington Ave., Boston, MA 02115. 1-888-Home-321.