BRADENTON, Fla. - On Sept. 1, 2020, Ann O'Brien passed at home in Bradenton, Florida, surrounded by her loved ones.
Ann was born in Dublin, Ireland, on May 13, 1929, to Mabel (Cobb) and William Roberts. Mom could wield a wooden spoon like a dragon lady - up on her toes in the kitchen doorway with smells of some exotic French cuisine wafting through the humid St. Joe thick summer swelter. Dinner was at 6 p.m., and you better be there or fear the wooden spoon, a completely empty threat that somehow sent shockwaves through the household.
Ann married Liam in Dublin on May 12, 1955, and globe trotted to the U.S. Midwest the following year, producing a gaggle Denis, Deirdre, Eileen, Maureen, and Conor, who created a clan of seven grands and 14 great-grands.
She had a mischievous smile and a rebellious twitch that led her to be our family's central matriarch. At 91, Ann could dance the tango, take long walks on the beach, and loved her garden and her best friend Lilly - the hugging cat. Mom liked to talk to the cat and told us that the cat could say her name, "Annnnn." The family almost started to believe her. Mom was very persuasive and brought "it" to life, a joie de vivre that was hard to put your finger on. She loved reading and poetry and talking about flowers, and if she liked you, you knew it. Ann was real, and she brought that realness to everything she did, and people loved her for it.
Auntie Ann has nieces and nephews who still swoon for her; you know who you are, and you are loved in return. In 1980 she received an associate degree in science with honors. During her career, she helped the downtrodden and changed people's lives as a mental health case manager at NH State Hospital and while operating her own caretaking business.
She enormously enjoyed retirement, walking on the beaches of Cape Cod, and dancing on the white sands of Anna Maria Island, Florida, often with her partner, Bill Henn.
Ann is survived by her siblings Alton and (Mary) Roberts, and Patsy Lundberg; her sons, Liam Denis and Kathleen O'Brien, Conor and June O'Brien; her daughters, Deirdre O'Brien, Eileen and John Pitts, Maureen and Tom Parker; grandchildren, Liam Casey and Julia O'Brien, Meghan Glines-O'Brien and Steve Glines, Sean and Leanne O'Brien, Michael Shaponick and Fiance; Katie Williamson, Jesse and Lori Pitts, James and Holly Pitts, Sara Stankatis and Fiance; Kyle Tacy; great-grandchildren, Rowan and Callan O'Brien, Bronson and Emerson Glines, Isabelle and Brayden O'Brien, Reese, Olivia, Aubrie, Harper, Poppy, Hadley, Mackie Pitts, Kaylin Stankatis.
She was preceded in death by her parents, William and Mabel Roberts; husband, Dr. Liam O'Brien MD; sisters, Violet Hogan, Pansy Sharman, Isabel Roberts.
The jubilation of life will be at Brown & Sons Funeral Home, 604 43rd St. W. Bradenton, FL 34205, on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. Visitation at 2 p.m., service at 2:30 p.m.
Facebook Live is available at www.facebook.com/brownandsonsfuneral.
A future burial in 2021 (unscheduled) will be held in Concord, New Hampshire.
Brown & Sons Funeral Homes & Crematory 43rd Street Chapel is in charge of arrangements.
Condolences may be made to www.brownandsonsfuneral.com. As published in the St. Joseph News-Press.