Charles F. O'Brien
1956 - 2020
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O'Brien, Charles F. EAST GREENBUSH Charles "Charlie" F. O'Brien, 63, of East Greenbush, passed away after a long illness on Thursday, March 26, 2020, at home surrounded by his loving and dedicated family. Charlie was born May 3, 1956, in Troy; the son of the late Timothy and late Rita (Frank) O'Brien. Charlie graduated in 1978 from Stony Brook University with a B.A. in Sociology and received his Juris Doctor in 1983 from Vermont Law School. For nearly 35 years, Charlie worked for the New York State Defenders Association (NYSDA), serving primarily as its managing attorney. Charlie was the treasured husband of Karen Kane, whom he married in 1989; devoted and beloved father of Alison (Stephen) Verdini, Conor (Brandon) Gruffi, and Evan O'Brien; brother of Mary Alice O'Brien, Barbara O'Brien, Timothy O'Brien, Lawrence O'Brien, Helen Marsolais and Rita Hausman. Charlie recently became the proud grandfather to granddaughter Charlie Verdini, his namesake. Charlie is also survived by many nieces and nephews, many brothers and sisters of his wife Karen and close familyfriends Sue Merritt and Mary Ann Fuina. In addition to being a man of tremendous character and integrity, Charlie was truly a great family man, never missing a single school event, game, or celebration. He was known for his long lectures, full of sound advice and timeless wisdom, which always ended with a hug and a smile. Charlie was an avid reader, loved to take long rides on his motorcycle, garden and cook. But he was happiest surrounded by his wife, children, siblings and friends with a glass of red wine in hand. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the mandatory social distancing, a celebration of Charlie's life will be held at a later date to be announced by the family. Charlie spent his entire career at NYSDA tirelessly working to improve the quality and scope of legal representation provided to low income people. To honor this work, memorial donations may be made in Charlie's name to NYSDA ( Send condolences at

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Published in Albany Times Union from Mar. 29 to Mar. 30, 2020.
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