Obituary of Mary K. O´Brien
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A beloved teacher, linguist, and storyteller, Mary K. OBrien died Sunday May 16th at Care One Assisted Living, Parsippany, NJ. An eloquent teller of tall tales with a passion for language, she learned her art from her father around the family dinner table. Laughter with an ironic twist was always the common denominator her sister Joan said yesterday. Ms. OBrien, the daughter of the late Frank J. and Agnes G. Ring OBrien was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and grew up in Meriden, Ct. Ms. OBrien taught French and the Classics for nearly 50 years, graduated from Albertus Magnus College with a major in Classics, entered the Dominican Sisters of Columbus, Ohio in 1943, received her MA in French literature at Fordham University, studied in France on a summer Fulbright grant, and taught in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, as well as at Mary Immaculate School in Ossining, New York, Dominican Academy and the Rhodes School, both in Manhattan. After leaving the Dominican community in 1973, she taught until 1987 in New Jerseys Morris Hills Regional school system where she mentored young teachers including her dear friends Marcia Fenton and Patricia Leuthard. Ms OBrien also relished her lifelong friendships with her students, many of whom have kept in touch with her through the years. While leading a student group in France in 1969, she met Mr. Jerry Berlin who has remained her dear companion and confidant until her death. Together, they attended the Bar or Bat Mitzvahs and first communions succeeding generations and welcomed friends and relatives to her New Jersey home. An avid world traveler, she studied Spanish and Italian at an advance age and served as a lector and eucharistic minister in her parish until her recent illness. Deeply committed to peaceful diplomacy, Ms OBrien deplored our countrys preemptive war policy. When she retired from teaching in 1987 her colleagues in the Foreign Language Department at Morris Hills presented her with a plaque: For your outstanding contribution to the teaching of French and Latin, For your inspiration, wit, wisdom, and example of dedication For the depth and breadth of your knowledge and teaching skills, For all these things and more, we thank you. In addition to Mr. Berlin of Manhattan, Ms OBrien leaves behind two sisters, A. Geraldine Sullivan of Wellesley, Ma and Joan OBrien of Carbondale, IL, a brother Honorable Francis J. and Ann G. OBrien of Meriden, CT, and numerous beloved nieces and nephews. The funeral from the Norman Dean Home for Services 16 Righter Ave., Denville, NJ on Thursday May 19th at 8:30a.m. for a 9:30a.m. Liturgy of Christian Burial service at St. Catherine of Siena Church, Mountain Lakes, NJ. Friends will be received Wednesday 2-4 & 7-9PM. Memorial donations to Atlantic Home Care and Hospice, 33 Bleeker Street, Millburn, NJ 07041 would be appreciated.