J. Thomas O'Brien
September 13, 1931 - December 18, 2013
J.Thomas O'Brien passed away peacefully on Wednesday surrounded by his family. Tom O'Brien was the patriarch of the O'Brien Family and a leader in the local automotive industry.
Born in Indianapolis on Irish Hill, O'Brien was a graduate of St. Joan of Arc Grade School, Cathedral High School class of 1949, and Cum Laude from the University of Notre Dame class of 1953.
Building on the Plymouth DeSoto dealership opened by his father, Thomas J. O'Brien, on Virginia Avenue in 1933, O'Brien opened a second Chrysler Plymouth Imperial dealership in 1962. The O'Brien Automotive Family continued to grow under his leadership, and he served as Chairman of Tom O'Brien Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram - Greenwood, Tom O'Brien Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram - Indianapolis, and O'Brien Toyota Scion. 16 family members currently work at the dealerships.
O'Brien was a community leader and heavily involved in the automotive industry, serving as Chairman of the Chrysler Plymouth National Dealer Council, National Advisory Board to President of Chrysler Corporation, past president of the Indianapolis Automobile Trade Association and the Indiana Automobile Dealer Association, and a member of the Industrial Relations National Committee for the the National Automobile Dealer Association. He received the Time Magazine Quality Dealers Award, and Indiana's highest automotive distinction - the Herman Goodwin Civic Service Award.
O'Brien was a charter member of St. Luke Catholic Church, active in the Indianapolis Irish Catholic Community and received several honors. He was past president of the Notre Dame Alumni Club of Indianapolis, Notre Dame "Man of the Year", Indianapolis Irishman of the Year, Honorary Chairman of the Indy Irishfest, received the Knight of the Holy Sepulcher Papal Award, and the "Faith, Family, Football Award for the Indiana Catholic Layman of the Year". He was a member of Knights of Columbus #437. He cherished the Little Sisters of the Poor and their mission, and served as both Director and Chairman for the organization.
O'Brien was a member of Meridian Hills Country Club, Mission Hills Country Club, and Palisades Park. He was also a member of Junto and served on the Crows Nest Town Council. He loved the University of Notre Dame and the Blessed Mother, but his greatest love was his family, of which he was very proud. He is survived Joan, his wife of 61 years; their 14 children; 11 sons-and-daughters-in-law; 57 grandchildren; 9 grandchildren spouses; and 11 great-grandchildren:
Kathleen O'Brien Miller (Tom)
- Tommy, Brian (Erin - Hannah, Andrew, Adam, Molly), Katie (Dave - Mary Kate, Madeline) Kuhnz, Timmy (Tracy - Riley, Cameron, Makenzie), Kevin (Suzette), Kelly, Megan, Scotty
Thomas O'Brien (Joanie Wade)
- Mary Clare (Chris - Verity) Cole, Oliver, Lizzy, Brittany, Matthew, Molly
Colleen O'Brien Scheidler (Bill)
- Matthew (Beth - Anna), Tim, Amy, Julie, Danny, Sarah
Pat O'Brien (Lyn McAnally)
- Kelsey (Andrew) Hickerson, Patrick
Maureen O'Brien Kohler (Jeff)
- Emily, (Jess) Marbot, Katie (John) Dalhoff, Clare, Maddie
Kevin O'Brien (Theresa Burget)
- Courtney, Kevin, Heather
Eileen O'Brien Metzger
- Kristen, Matthew, Mitch, Nick, Caroline
Rosaleen O'Brien Rogers (Graham)
- Shannon, Haley
Terry O'Brien (Laura MacNulty)
- Emma, John, Clara, James
Christeen O'Brien Paulison (Christopher (Woody))
- Andrew, Sam, Mary Kate, Annie, Molly, Michael
Charleen O'Brien Vierhile
- Ben, Ryan, Josie
Janeen O'Brien Park (Charles)
- Abigail, Lucy, Charlie, George, David,
Tim O'Brien (Maryanne Wisler)
- TJ, Connor, Maryn
O'Brien is also survived by his sister, Shirley O'Brien Creamer (Jim).
The O'Brien Family would like to thank Leslie, Jordan and Katie from Tendercare Home Health Service and the caring staff at St. Vincent Hospice. Family and friends will gather in St. Luke Catholic Church, 7575 Holliday Dr. E., Indianapolis on Friday, December 20th from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in St. Luke Catholic Church on Saturday, December 21st at 11:00 a.m. You are invited to visit the website http://www.leppertmortuary.com where you may share a personal memory of Tom. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Little Sisters of the Poor or St. Luke Catholic Church. Leppert Mortuary, Nora Chapel is assisting with the arrangements.