Thomas O’Brien

Obituary of Thomas Francis O’Brien

Beloved husband and father, Dad lost his battle with CHF three days before Christmas. A simple man, or maybe not so simple. Steel mill worker, railroad man, Air Force Korean war veteran, aerospace innovator, water plant supervisor, sports fanatic and most importantly to him devoted family man. Born in Scranton, PA to the late Thomas Francis O'Brien Sr. and Florence McCarthy O'Brien. Graduate of St. Anne's Monastery class of 1949, he was the school's star basketball center and senior beau. After school he went to work on the steel mill, then joined his father working on the railroad. He first tried to join the Army. They refused due to his high blood pressure so the next day he went to the Air Force recruiting office and joined the Air Force. He served during the Korean War as a Guidance System Mechanic, he was instrumental in working on the Snark Guidance System. A career he continued with Nortronics Division, Northtrop Corp. and Aeronautics Division, Philco-Ford Corp, as a supervisor. While stationed in Melbourne Florida dad met the love of his life, our mom, Marjorie Cowan. They married and when dad left the Air Force, they moved to California, where he continued his education and worked in the aeronautics divisions of Northtrop and Ford. They had four children in California and eventually moved to Alabama. When the bottom fell out of the Aerospace industries in the early 70's he moved the family back to Florida. Dad then began the second part of his life. With the Space Industry in array, dad changed careers. He joined GDC in Palm Bay becoming a waste water plant operator. Back in school, be studied water/waste water treatment. He first got C licensed then B licensed and finally was double licensed A in both water and waste water for GDC, which became Palm Bay Utilities. He retired from Palm Bay Utilities as the Lead Operator but was called back when Palm Bay did renovation work because he was the only one who knew where all the waterlines were. But oh how he loved his sports. Dad followed almost all sports devotedly, Pro and College football, Pro and College basketball, Nascar, golf soccer, college baseball and softball, he was our sports guru. Whatever questions we had about sports he could answer. He was always telling us what games were on, what the standings were, any and all stats. He took great pride in his hometown teams and local athletes that made good. He also followed the happening in the space industry, never missing a rocket launch. Dad loved nothing more than to be of help, always wanting to help his kids the best he could. Even in poor health he still wanted to troubleshoot a misfiring vehicle. He is survived by his four loving children, amazingly awesome sister and cousins to numerous to count. Dad was predeceased by our mom and he raised four children the best he could at a time when single fathers were rare. Services will be at noon on Saturday, February 18th at Florida Memorial Gardens, 5950 South US Highway #1, Rockledge. Donations may be made to the Daily Bread, 815 E Fee Ave, Melbourne, FL 32901.
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