OSWEGO, NY – Lawrence W. O’Brien Sr., 88, passed away peacefully on Monday June 4, 2012, at Oswego Hospital, surrounded by his loving family.
Mr. O’Brien was born in Oswego, NY on April 6, 1924, to the late William G. and Louise (FitzGibbons) O’Brien.
He attended St. Paul’s Academy and Oswego High School.
He graduated from the Naval Officer Training Program at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass., in 1943.
He was a lieutenant in the US Navy from 1941 to 1946, and served in the Atlantic and Pacific theatres during World War II.
Upon returning from the Navy, Mr. O’Brien chose to help his father, WG O’Brien, in the family lumber and building materials business.
He eventually became president of the Neal-O’Brien Building and Materials Corporation.
He also served as president of the Northeastern Retail Lumberman’s Association.
Mr. O’Brien was a remarkable man.
He very much loved the community in which he lived.
He served on the board of directors of the Oswego City Savings Bank, which he joined in 1948, at the age of 24.
He also served on more than 20 other boards, including the Oswego City Library, the Oswego Chamber of Commerce, The United Way of Oswego County, Operation Machine Shop, which is now Operation Oswego County, and the Oswego City School District Board of Education.
In addition to his many civic endeavors, he was a successful real estate developer, playing a critical role in the growth of Oswego.
His developments included Sleepy Hollow, Presidential Plaza, Trillium Gardens, and Kingsford Woods.
Mr. O’Brien was a member of numerous community clubs, including the Knights of Columbus, the Rotary Club of Oswego, and the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
He was a faithful communicant of St. Paul’s Church, where he cherished his role as a member of the choir.
His faith guided his daily actions.
Where he saw need, his Christian spirit shone, always putting the needs of others before his own.
His life’s work has been an inspiration to his family, and to all those whose lives he touched.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Margaret; four daughters, Mary (Terrence) Gorman, Margie (Michael Chamberlin) O’Brien, Katie (Matt) Beaudry and Carrie (Dan) Culeton; four sons, Larry (Jaye) O’Brien, Pat O’Brien, Will (Laurie) O’Brien and Chris (Faith) O’Brien; his sisters, Ellen O’Brien and Ruth O’Brien Brennan; 20 grandchildren; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
He was predeceased by a sister, Jean O’Brien O’Toole.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday in St. Paul’s Church, Oswego.
Burial will be in St. Peter’s Cemetery.
Calling hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Dain-Cullinan Funeral Home, 112 E. Second St., Oswego.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Paul’s Church, 50 E. Mohawk St Oswego, NY, to be used for the St. Vincent DePaul Society; or to Oswego County Habitat for Humanity, PO Box 5255, Oswego, NY 13126