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William Bruce OBrien


1917 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences Gallery
William Bruce OBrien Obituary
William Bruce O'Brien, 96 William Bruce O'Brien, 96, of Newtown Square, PA, died June 19 after a brief illness. Bill was born August 28, 1917 in Santa Lucia, Cuba, first child of James Bruce and Mary Reagan O'Brien. Raised in Harrisburg, PA, he graduated from Penn State University in 1939. A Naval Aviator, Bill flew anti-submarine missions in the Atlantic and Pacific during World War II, earning two Distinguished Flying Crosses and five Air Medals. He married June Severino of Harrisburg on August 16, 1945. They and their four children spent the next 17 years moving around the country for Bill's naval career, until settling in Newtown Square in 1962 when Bill was transferred to the Philadelphia Naval Yard. After a heart attack in 1967, he retired from the Navy as a Commander and taught math at the Charles Ellis School and at the Devereux School. Bill was a five-decade fixture at the Marple-Newtown High School track, most of that time jogging but walking in the last few years. He was also an avid cyclist. He kept exercising until a few weeks before he died. Bill was a long-time lector and occasional altar boy at the 6:30 a.m. daily mass at St. Anastasia's Church and a 40-year Man of Malvern. Bill's son, Tom, died in 1966 and his wife, June, in 1995. He is survived by his brother, Bob O'Brien; son, Dan O'Brien; daughter, Kathy Eggers (Fred); and daughter Kerin Dezell (John). He is also survived by five grandchildren Mark Eggers (Amy), Janet MacDonald (Alan), Kate LaClair (Marshall), Mary Dezell, Jack Dezell, as well as four great grandchildren, Ella, Nate, and Audrey MacDonald and Henry Eggers. Bill's viewing is Friday, June 27 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Anastasia's Church in Newtown Square followed by a funeral mass at 11:00 a.m. Bill will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery with this wife and son Tom at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Philadelphia Catholic Charities Appeal by contacting The Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia at 215-587-5650
Published in The Daily Times on June 24, 2014
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