OSWEGO, NY – Elizabeth Eleanor Rose O’Brien, 80, died at her home at 236 E. 12th St., Oswego early Tuesday morning December 18, 2012, following a two-year illness.
Born in, and a lifelong resident of, Oswego, she was the only child of the late Frank L. Rose and the former Harriett L. O’Connor.
Betty, as she was called by nearly everyone, graduated first in her class from St. Paul’s Academy, and was a high honor student at Oswego High School, from which she graduated in 1950.
She enrolled at Nazareth College in Rochester, with the intent of becoming a French teacher.
Due to the sudden illness of her mother during her first year there, however, she was forced to return home.
Soon she bumped into her former high school American history teacher, Robert J. O’Brien, and they began dating.
After completing another year of college at Oswego State, she withdrew to marry him.
Betty was a devoted wife and mother, a proud and involved grandmother and a delighted and adoring great-grandmother.
Although she spent most of her life overseeing the home front, she was employed for a few years in the billing department at Oswego Hospital and for another few as manager of the Oswego Teachers Credit Union.
In her spare time, Betty enjoyed choral singing (including stints in the Philomelians and Philomelian Alumnae, as well as a combined total of 37 years in St. John’s and St. Paul’s choirs), and playing piano and eventually organ.
In addition to her musical interests, she liked to travel, read biographies and mysteries, work crossword puzzles and was seldom without a knitting or cross-stitch project.
She also relished regular get-togethers with lifelong friends and a couple of newer ones.
Betty was predeceased by her husband, who died on June 21, 1997, their 45th wedding anniversary.
She is survived by their five children: Patrick R. O’Brien of Scriba, Maureen O’Brien Chepiga (Stephen) of Brooklyn, Michael L. O’Brien (Mary) of Scriba, Lawrence F. O’Brien (Patricia) of Oswego and Margaret M. O’Brien of Oswego; and their six grandchildren, namely Kathryn M. Chepiga of Atlanta, Ga., Cristin O’Brien Fuhrman of Henderson, NY, Robert M. O’Brien and Benjamin F. O’Brien both of Baltimore, Md., Neal C. O’Brien of Syracuse and Laura M. O’Brien of Oswego.
She also leaves behind three great-grandchildren, namely Madeline and Joshua Fuhrman of Henderson and Asher O’Brien of Baltimore.
In keeping with her wishes, there will be no public calling hours.
Contributions in her memory may be made to Trinity Catholic School 115 E. Fifth St., Oswego or to Friends of Oswego County Hospice, PO Box 102 Oswego, NY 13126.
Betty’s funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church at noon on Friday.
Interment will be at St. Paul’s Cemetery.
Arrangements are in charge of the Dain-Cullinan Funeral Home.