Bee O'Brien, 92, of Springfield, died Jan. 1, 2013 after a brief illness.
Born Aug. 6, 1920, in El Reno, Oklahoma, Edna Bee Taylor Freeman O'Brien remained proud of her "Okie" roots.
She met her future husband, Don O'Brien, in his hometown of Faribault, Minnesota, where her father's work had taken her family during her high school years. Bee and Don were married in 1943 and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary shortly before his death.
Bee was most proud of being the mother of five children, but she led an accomplished and fulfilling life before they were born and after they had grown.
As a young woman she earned her degree as a registered nurse and enjoyed working in the medical field. In later years she was instrumental in the establishment of the first hospice organization in Springfield.
Bee had a wide circle of cherished friends, and until recently participated in monthly luncheons and other activities with many of them. She continued to make new friends at her final two residences, the Neighborhoods at Quail Creek and especially Culpepper Place in Chesterfield Village.
Throughout her life Bee enjoyed and supported music and theater. She was skilled at sewing, embroidery, knitting, quilting, ceramics and other crafts.
She was a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic parish for 53 years, and also received kindnesses from the St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic parish in recent years.
In addition to her husband, Bee was preceded in death by one son, Tim, who died in 1987. Survivors include daughter Patricia Wilson and her husband Roger of Columbia; sons Mike O'Brien and his wife LaDonna of Springfield, Kevin O'Brien and his wife Claire of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Sean O'Brien and his wife Suzanne of Parker, Colorado; eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7, 2013 at the Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home.Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, with the Rev. Lewis Hejna celebrant. There will be private burial later at National Cemetery.
The family suggests memorial gifts to the Tim O'Brien Fund, which benefits local victims of head and brain injuries. Donations may be sent to the Tim O'Brien Fund at the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, P.O. Box 8960, Springfield, Mo., 65801.