LOON LAKE/HORNELL - George M. O'Brien, 93, of 30 E. Lake Road (Loon Lake), Cohocton, died Monday morning (Dec. 23, 2013) at the Veterans Affairs Hospital in Bath, following a long illness.
Born in Detroit, Mich., on July 2, 1920, he was the son of George and Elizabeth (Daly) O'Brien.
When George was 7 years old, he moved to Jersey City, N.J., where he graduated from Dickerson High School. Following graduation, he began his lifelong employment and "love affair" with the railroad, spending the next seven years working for the Erie Railroad.
Following the outbreak of World War II
, George enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps
, serving his country from 1942-1946 in many parts of the world, including Guam, Okinawa and China, earning the Bronze Star
. He studied Chinese brush painting with Nadia Boring and had several shows of his work during his retirement years.
He was an amazing man and a true gentleman who deserves to be honored for his loyalty and love for his family and country.
After his honorable discharge from the Marines, he resumed his employment with the railroad, spending a total of 47 years with the Lackawanna Railroad, Erie-Lackawanna Railroad and Conrail, retiring in 1980.
He was married on Jan. 20, 1945, to the former Beatrice M. "Bea" Kahl, who survives. For many years, they had a passion for dancing, especially "swing."
Throughout the years, George and Bea resided in about 15 different locations, including Scranton, Pa.; North Carolina; New Jersey; Ohio, Hornell and Loon Lake, where they have made their home since 1980.
He had been a communicant of St. Joseph's Church of Wayland and was a member of the parish council at Sacred Heart Church in Perkinsville. He had been a member and past president of the Lions Club in Wayland; served as president of the Loon Lake Association; a life member of the Perkinsville Fire Department and a member of the Wayland American Legion.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Walter O'Brien.
In addition to his wife, Beatrice, surviving are four daughters, Bonnie Yannie of Rochester, Maureen Morsch of San Francisco, Lisa (Dennis) Kinney of Henrietta and Lynn (Shawn) Bliven of Franklinville; two sons, Dennis (Lynda) O'Brien of Hornell and Billy (Nancy) O'Brien of Trumansburg; and several grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.
The family of George M. Obrien will receive friends on Friday from 11 a.m. to noon at the Dagon Funeral Home 38 Church St., Hornell, where funeral services will be held at the conclusion of calling hours at noon with Deacon Robert McCormick officiating. A luncheon / celebration of life will follow at the Main Place (formerly Knights of Columbus) on Main Street, Hornell. Burial will be in the Bath National Cemetery.
George's family request that memorial contributions in his name be made to the Hospice Unite in the Community Living Center, Bath VA Medical Center, Bath, NY 14810. Memorial forms will be available at the Dagon Funeral Home.
In recognition of George's service to his country during World War II, the American flag at the Dagon Funeral Home will be flown at half-staff.
To leave an online condolence or share a memory, visit www.dagonfuneralhome.com.