Ava Eleanor O'Brien
March 23, 1916
July 20, 2010
Ava Eleanor O'Brien passed away on Tuesday, July 20, at the age of 94 at Northeast Baptist Hospital in San Antonio, TX. Ava was born on March 23, 1916, to Paul and Myrtle (Hungerford) Schultz, and she and her three sisters were raised on her family's farm near Harmony, MN. After graduating from high school, Ava pursued her passion to become a teacher, earning an undergraduate degree in elementary education from Winona State College and later continuing her elementary education training with postgraduate studies at Mankato State College. Early in her teaching career, she taught for a time at a one-room schoolhouse in rural Minnesota. During World War II, Ava served her country as a WAVE in the Navy and met her husband, William T. (Bill) O'Brien, Sr., a Navy chief petty officer in Norfolk, VA, where both were stationed. After their marriage in 1945, Ava and Bill lived in Austin, MN. In 1954, they moved to Worthington, MN, where they lived, worked, and raised their three children. After their retirement, Ava and Bill relocated to San Antonio, TX, in 2002 to be near their two older children and grandchildren. They resided in the independent living section of Incarnate Word Retirement Community through 2005. In 2006 Ava, who was widowed in 2004, moved to Brighton Gardens Assisted Living (now Emeritus of Lincoln Heights), where she lived until her death. She grew very close to many of the staff at both retirement communities, and her family sincerely thanks them for the good care they provided and their many kindnesses. They also give their best regards to the retirement community residents with whom Ava became friends and to the physicians who provided such professional and supportive care and concern, especially during her recent hospitalizations. Before her retirement, Ava was a beloved and respected second-grade teacher at the former Central Elementary School in Worthington, MN. She exemplified not only the intelligence and skills of a good teacher, but also the virtues of kindness, sincerity, and patience to her students, as well as to her family and friends. Ava deeply cherished her family, the Worthington community, the First United Methodist Church in Worthington, where she was a long-time member, and the friendships she made in Worthington and the surrounding area as well as those she made later in life in San Antonio. Throughout her life, she always saw the best in people and in life, even in the face of adversity. Ava is survived by sons Tim O'Brien of Austin, TX, and Greg O'Brien of Eagan, MN; daughter Kathy O'Brien Adjemian of San Antonio, TX; grandsons William Matthew Adjemian, Colin O'Brien, Christopher O'Brien, William O'Brien, III, and Trevor O'Brien; and sister Marion Bradford of Columbia, MO. She was proceeded in death by her husband, William T. O'Brien Sr., in 2004, her parents, and sisters Hazel Gore and Nina Roche. Memorial services were held in San Antonio on Saturday, August 21, at the Incarnate Word Retirement Community Chapel.
Published in San Antonio Express-News on Aug. 22, 2010.