Belmont - Robert J. O'Brien, of Belmont, died Monday, Memorial Day, May 30, 2022. He was ninety.
Bob was born on Sept. 5, 1931, in Boston. He was the son of the late Robert F. and Margaret (Carey) O'Brien. He was raised in Arlington and graduated from Matignon High School as part of the class of 1950 and from Boston College in 1954 as part of the ROTC program. Thereafter, Bob honorably served as a First Lieutenant in the United States Army in Baumholder, Germany. His unit was the artillery division responsible for the M65 Atomic Cannon built by the U.S. and capable of firing a nuclear device.
Bob married Waltham native Madeline M. "Cherie" (Dugas) on July 19, 1969. They enjoyed fifty-two years of life together and, in the process, were joined by their children Jennifer and Kevin.
Bob owned and operated O'Brien Insurance Agency in Waltham for over fifty years, enjoying his career success so much he continued to work until the age of eighty-six.
Bob was a licensed pilot and a natural outdoorsman who loved hiking, skiing, and running. A longtime member of the Prospector's Ski Club, he and his family delighted in skiing various New England mountains and particularly Wildcat Mountain in New Hampshire.
Bob climbed all 48 of New Hampshire's 4,000-foot mountains, completed eight marathons, including three in Boston and was a long-time member of the Newton Y.M.C.A. At the "Y", he took great pleasure in meeting and running with a close group of friends. This same group often ran out of the L Street Bathhouse in South Boston on weekends.
His most arduous running race was on New Hampshire's Mt. Washington auto road, a seven-mile run straight to the top of the mountain.
Bob loved traveling and, as the son of a fisherman, truly appreciated the sea. One of his best experiences and fondest memories was taking commercial fishing trips with his dad starting at the age of seven. He learned much from these trips and, of course, so much from his father.
Bob leaves his wife Cherie, his children Jennifer Spinale (David) of Canton, Kevin O'Brien (Cassandra) of Hingham, his beloved grandchildren, Brendan, Shane and Devan Spinale, Finley and Ronan O'Brien, his sister-in-law Jacqueline Rizzo (Richard) of Andover, his brother-in-law Stephen Dugas of Newton, nieces Laura Ryan Sullivan, Nancy Ryan Keleman, Andrea Baer (Calvin), Danielle Ripple (Raymond), nephews Michael Ryan, Kevin Ryan. Bob was predeceased by his sister, Mary B. Ryan (late George).
Family and friends will honor and remember Bob's life by gathering for calling hours in The Joyce Funeral home, 245 Main Street (Rte. 20) on Tuesday, June 7th from 4 to 7 p.m. and again at again at 9 a.m. on Wednesday morning before leaving in procession to The Church of Saint Joseph, 130 Common Street, Belmont where his funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Burial in Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne is private.
The O'Brien family politely encourages all guests to wear masks for all services.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in his name may be made to Alzheimer's Association, 309 Waverly Oaks Road, Waltham, MA 02452.