Michael C. O’Brien, 82, Roxbury, formally residing in Yonkers, Belle Harbor, Garden City and Brooklyn, a man known for his sense of humor and love for family, passed away peacefully with family present on Wednesday, June 16, 2010 under the care of the professional and compassionate staff of Mountainside Residential Care Center, Margaretville.
Born on May 5, 1928 he willingly and honorably served in the United States Navy in the submarine service out of Pearl Harbor where he reached the rank of lieutenant. Michael also had the pleasure of meeting his wife of 54 years in Hawaii, Ruth Finlen of Butte, Montana. Ruth’s uncle William was Michael’s commanding officer during the Korean conflict.
Michael earned a bachelor’s degree from Holy Cross College in Worcester, Mass. and entered into the family business where he succeeded to establish a fine reputation in his industry. His knowledge and standing affiliated him with the Society of Industrial Realtors, Counselor’s of Real Estate, The Appraisal Institute and the Columbia Society of Real Estate Appraisers. Michael also served as the longtime president of the Brooklyn Board of Realtors and was a Trustee of the Lincoln Savings Bank. For his community he was a trustee for the New York City Chapter of the American Red Cross, The Brooklyn Bureau of Community Service and the Brooklyn Benevolent Association.
After a nearly 60-year career operating a family run commercial real estate business, M.C. O’Brien Inc., which recently celebrated its 100-year anniversary in business, Michael retired to both the ocean shore and the Catskill Mountains.
In addition to his wife, Ruth of Roxbury, affectionately known as “Roostie,” he is survived by his five children, Michael C. O’Brien III of Flora Park, Margaret Greason of Manhattan, Thomas J. O’Brien of Roxbury, William P. O’Brien of Rockville Centre and Ruth E. Bryceland of Bronxville. Also surviving are 13 grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his son, James.
Local arrangements were made by Tom Hynes with his burial taking place in his beloved Kelly Green Blazer at St. John’s Cemetery in Queens, where he will be interred with his son and parents.
Donations in his memory may be sent to the Roxbury Volunteer Fire Department or the Catskill Area Hospice.