Dr. Robert J. O'Brien
1928 - 2021
Dr. Robert J. O’Brien, 93, passed away on November 17, 2021, in Las Vegas, NV, with his daughters by his side. In life, we loved you dearly, in death we love you still. In our hearts, you hold a place that no one could ever fill.

Robert “Bob” is survived by his daughters, Roxanne O’Brien and Jennifer O’Brien, grandsons, Robert Avruch and Maxwell Avruch, sisters Joan Ducharme and Marie Murray. He was predeceased by his beloved wife Norma Jean (Mueller) O’Brien and daughter, Kim O’Brien, and brother, Deacon John O’Brien. Bob was a Communicant of Holy Cross parish.

Robert J. O’Brien was born in Holyoke, MA to John J. O’Brien and Gertrude (More’) O’Brien on April 24, 1928. He always wanted to follow his dream and passion in medicine and his loving and devoted family supported him in every way. It was a long road and many sacrifices, but Bob cherished every moment of it. He graduated from St. Michael’s College in VT and got his medical degree from St. Louis University where he met his beautiful wife Norma Jean. They married in 1954 upon his graduation from medical school. He chose surgery, specifically vascular and general surgery and entered a 5 year residency program at Bellevue Hospital in NYC. He returned to his roots and set up a private practice in Holyoke, MA. He was affiliated with Holyoke Hospital, Providence Hospital, Cooley Dickenson Hospital, Mercy Hospital, and the Soldier’s Home. Bob poured his heart and soul into his love of medicine and surgery and was admired for his compassion and skill. He was highly inventive and always searching for knowledge. He treated and cared for so many with his healing hands and made everyone feel so important and special with his precious heart and kind smile, and incredibly generous and had the most authentic sense of humor.

Bob served in 3 armed services, Navy, Marines, and was a Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force and later years was a flight surgeon for the Air National Guard at Barnes Air Force Base and also a flight surgeon for the Air Reserve at Westover Air Force Base. He was the surgeon for both the Holyoke police and the Holyoke fire department. For many years, Bob enjoyed being an active member of the Holyoke St. Patrick ‘s Day Parade Committee.

Bob was an opera aficionado, a pilot, fisherman, cook, skier, golfer, hunter, motorcycle rider, extensive traveler and entertainer for all his friends and family. He loved animals and taught his family that respect for all living things is a gift from God.

His legacy, until the very end, was his tremendous love for fellow man and the kindest man you could ever meet. He was light and love. To quote John Denver, “If I should live forever and all my dreams come true, my memories of love will be of you.” Rest in peace our beautiful father, until we meet again.

Services will be held at the Massachusetts Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Agawam on May 27, 2022, at 3pm.

Published by The Republican from Nov. 29 to Nov. 30, 2021.
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7 Entries
My deepest sympathy to Doc O'Brien family. He was a great man. Did few surgeries on me. Flew with him at Westover ARB. May God Bless
Tony Colucci
December 1, 2021
I knew Dr.OBrien since at least 1967.I was a waitress at Gleason's Townhouse where he was a regular. I have thought about him many times over the years since.My condolences to his daughters. Carol Racine Kinkaid Friend
carol kinkaid
December 1, 2021
Uncle Bob´s love and light will live on in our hearts. Sending much love and hugs to our cousins, Roxanne and Jennifer. Photo of the four O´Brien siblings at our Wedding in 1990.
Cathy and Mike Martin
November 30, 2021
A life of service, well lived. RIP
Mike Brunetti
November 30, 2021
I´m very sad to hear of Doc OBrien passing he was a friend my Doctor.truly a great man always a kind word he had a great sense of humor.always willing to help .I spent a lot of Saturday afternoons at the Broadview with Doc many great stories My sympathy to his family we all lost a great guy
William lunney
November 30, 2021
Our memories of Doctor Bob go back to my parents visiting Jack and Gert on Roosevelt Ave. Jack would roll out the drums and do a long solo for us. Dr, Bob showed up at a lot of functions in our family. I would see him at the War Memorial in his Class A's or flight suit. This is a picture of us at an airshow at Barnes ANG. We missed him but he needed his family out west where he enjoyed his final years. Brother Mark said he was always in Doc's office during his lunch having a procedure done and back to work. He said Doc never sent him a bill. Bob joins Norma to pave the way for the rest of us. God Bless Bob. May he RIP. Our condolences to Roxanne, Jennifer, Joan and Marie and anyone else I missed. Cousin Dan PAX
Dan & Donna O'Brien
November 30, 2021
Dear Roxanne, Your father was a gift to so many. As a doctor, he changed and saved lives. As a father, he loved you and your sisters. And you loved and cared for him until the end. Hugs and sympathy and prayers.
Anne Quirk Heston
November 29, 2021
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