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Grace O'Brien

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August 27, 1922 - July 24, 2013
Honoring Grace O'Brien
Grace Ehlig O'Brien died at home July 24, 2013 after a long illness caused by complications from the dust storms of December in 2011. Born August 27, 1922 on Washington Blvd, Los Angeles. She attended the brand new Holly Avenue Elementary School in Arcadia then the combined Monrovia-Arcadia-Duarte High School in Monrovia. She received her A.A. degree from Pasadena Junior College, B.A. from UCLA, and a M.A. from UCLA with specialties in Guidance, Counseling, Psychometry, and Psychology. She obtained the Standard Supervision Credential with Principal Provision. She held at different times with Los Angeles Unified School District the positions of: Teacher, Counselor, School Psychologist, Head Counselor, Vice-Principal, and finally Principal at Garden Gate High (renamed Johnson High in 1980). Garden Gate was at that time the Greater Watts area last chance girls school which served girls that had been removed from at least three previous schools.
Grace wrote the first Teachers Resource Handbook for LAUSD and helped establish maternity leave for women at the school district. She was one of only seven psychologists in the federally funded two-year program dealing with the students who had been involved in the Watts Riots. She with her husband Louis J. O'Brien, whom she married on November 8, 1947, sued their contractor regarding construction of their home and brought before the U.S. Supreme Court the case that established the contractors bond which must be posted today on building construction.
Grace was active in retirement, she taught a genealogy course for 18 years at the local Pasadena Mormon library although not a Mormon herself. She held numerous positions in the Daughters of the American Revolution in the Daughters of the American Colonists.
Grace was always willing to help others, and hopefully is doing the same now from the other side since she has now passed.
She is survived by her two sons, Lawrence John O'Brien and Perry Lewis O'Brien and by daughter Carol O'Brien Northey as well as four grandchildren and two great grandchildren. She will be dearly missed, in lieu of flowers, please send donations in her name to either the San Marino Chapter of the DAR which is accepting donations for the Good Citizenship Award or the Associated Administrators of Los Angeles which is accepting donations for a student scholarship.
Services will be held on Wednesday July 31, 2013 at Cabot and Sons Chapel, 27 Chestnut Street, Pasadena, CA. 91103. Viewing will begin at 3:00 and extend until 8:00 p.m. The service will be at 5:00 p.m.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on July 30, 2013
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