Patrick O'Brien

Obituary of Patrick Francis O'Brien

Born 12/21/31 to Francis J. and Margaret O’Brien in Pettigo, Northern Ireland. Passed away 12/30/2019 in Lodi, CA surrounded by family. Pat was a 1956 graduate of All Hallows College, Dublin, Ireland. He subsequently earned two Masters Degrees and a Doctorate in Education and Counseling Psychology from the University of San Francisco. Pat came to Sacramento in 1956, joined the Faculty at Bishop Armstrong High School and served in dual capacities as a teacher and counselor; in 1960 he was appointed Director of the Newman Student Center at Sacramento State College. In 1971 he relocated to San Francisco to become Dean of Student Services at Golden Gate University. He retired from that position in 1994. At GGU he also served as the University Ombudsman and Master of Ceremonies. He held the rank of Senior Adjunct Professor in the University’s Graduate School of Business. After two years in retirement, he was recruited by Catholic Charities of San Francisco to be the Director, Peninsula Family Resource Center, San Mateo. He retired again in 1998. He was an active volunteer in a variety of programs: Women’s Recovery Association, Burlingame, San Mateo County Human Relations Commission, San Mateo County Self-Esteem Committee, San Carlos Economic Development Committee, San Mateo St. Vincent de Paul Society, St. Matthias Parish, Redwood City, Parish Council (Chairman), Therapy Dog Program with his faithful dog, Angel, Lodi, CA. He is survived by his cherished wife (and best buddy) Nancy, his beloved daughter Peggy, granddaughters Hayley and Katie, and, in Ireland, his brother John and his family, the family of his brother Michael (dec.), many nieces, nephews and life-long friends. At Pat’s request, there will be no funeral. A private gathering will be held at a later date to acknowledge his gratitude to all the wonderful people who enriched his life. A favorite quote: “Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.” W.B. Yeats. (His family and especially his wife, want to note that, despite his laments, his periods of tragedy were few and brief while his periods of joy were many and long-lasting.) Those who knew and loved him appreciated his storytelling, his annual St. Patrick’s Day party, his informative and entertaining Christmas letters, his kindness and his great wit. He was the officiate of choice for family and friends’ weddings, where the bride and groom’s greatest hope was to build as beautiful a marriage as he and Nancy’s. Memorial gifts may be made to St. Vincent de Paul Society, 50 North B Street, San Mateo, CA 94401.
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