Chief Anthony W. O'Brien
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AGE: 87 • Avenel
Chief Anthony W. O'Brien of the Avenel section of Woodbridge Township passed away on Saturday, February 1, 2014 at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital at Rahway. He was 87 years old.
Born and raised in Elizabeth, NJ; He resided in Avenel for the past 61 years. After his retirement he enjoyed wintering in Myrtle Beach where he belonged to the Aberdeen Country Club in Longs, South Carolina.
Chief O'Brien was a United Air Force veteran serving in World War II.
He joined the Woodbridge Police Department in 1957 and was appointed Deputy Chief in 1972. In 1974 he was appointed Chief and served as Chief until his retirement in 1991.
Chief O'Brien graduated from the FBI National Academy in 1974 and Middlesex County College in 1975 with an Associates Degree, Majoring in Police Science.
He was active in various Law enforcement education programs including the Criminal Justice program at Middlesex County College. He, along with Judge George Nicola in conjunction with correctional officials at East Jersey State Prison instituted the nationally acclaimed Lifers Program from which the documentary, "Scared Straight" was filmed and received an Oscar award.
He was a Communicant of St. Andrew's R.C. Church in Avenel. A charter member and Public Safety Trustee of the 200 Club, member of St. Andrews Knights of Columbus Council #5088, Woodbridge Elks B.P.O.E. #2116, The American Legion T. Nulty Post #471 in Iselin, The Woodbridge American Irish Association serving as Grand Marshall for their 1976 parade, The International Chief of Police Association, New Jersey State Chiefs Police Association, and the Middlesex County Police Chiefs Association; He was an honorary member of the Avenel Fire Co. #1, Iselin Chemical Hook & Ladder #11, Colonia Fire Department, as well as the Fords Fire Company.
Chief O'Brien was an avid golfer and belonged to the Glenwood Country club in Old Bridge. He also was active in various youth sports programs as a Coach and Referee with various local softball and basketball programs.
He was predeceased by his son Robert J. "Bobby" O'Brien who passed away last year; his parents Walter and Theresa Lombardi O'Brien; and a sister, Theresa Kosser.
He is survived by his wife of 64 years Carole Hohf O'Brien; a daughter, Liz O'Brien-Barry and her husband Kevin of Westfield; a son James O'Brien and his partner Gaby Steib of Colonia; three sisters Dorothy Sohler of Old Bridge, Anna Kelly of Whiting, Margaret Raffa and her husband Joseph of Holmdel; four brothers Walter and his wife Marie of Clark, Edward of Linden, John of Linden, and Thomas of Toms River; four grandchildren Kathleen Barry, Caroline Barry, Anna Marie O'Brien, and Evan O'Brien; Two great-grandchildren Olivia O'Brien and Joshua O'Brien.
Funeral will take place Thursday, February 6, 2013, 9:00 a.m. from COSTELLO-KOYEN FUNERAL HOME (www.Costello-koyen.com) 399 Avenel Street at Demorest Avenue, Avenel. A 9:45 a.m. Funeral Liturgy will take place at St. Andrew's R.C. Church. Cremation will be private. Visitation will be Wednesday from 2-4 & 7-9 p.m.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be made to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or The Parkinson's Foundation, P O Box 5018, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5018.
Costello-Koyen Funeral Home
399 Avenel Street
Avenel, NJ 07001
Published in Home News Tribune on Feb. 3, 2014