William J. O’Brien Jr. of Lowell, MA


William “Bill” O’Brien, 87, a resident of Belvidere died Thursday, January 19, 2017 at Lowell General Hospital Saints Campus surrounded by his loving family after a long illness.

He was the husband of Patricia A. (McSorley) O’Brien with whom he celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary on Aug. 29th.

Born in Lowell, MA on August 8, 1929, he was the son of the late William J. O’Brien Sr. and Mary (Dowd) O’Brien. He was predeceased by his birth mother, Josephine (Burns) O’Brien who died August 14, 1929. Bill was raised in Lowell and graduated from Lowell High School with the Class of 1948. He earned his Associates Degree in Textile Chemistry and Dyeing from Lowell Textile Institute now University of MA Lowell.

During the Korean War, he served in the US Naval Reserve.

Bill worked as Textile Chemist with Vertipile Inc. of Lowell and Leominster for 37 years, Synthon Industries in Chelsea and retired in 1994 from Spectro Coating in Leominster. In retirement he volunteered as a Medical Driver for Elder Services of Merrimack Valley for 12 years.

He was a communicant of the Immaculate Conception Church in Lowell.

Bill was a life member of the Alpine Square Dance Club of Chelmsford, Lowell Lodge of Elks. In the 1960’s he served as a board member of the Greater Lowell Mental Health Association, member and the Treasurer of the Belvidere Residents Association, 10 year Secretary of the Clover Club of Greater Lowell, and member of the American Assoc. of Textile Chemists and Colorists.  He was a Webelo Leader for Cub Scout Pack 38 Reilly School.  For the last 17 years, he also belonged to the Alpine Seniors Bowling Friends at the Brunswick Bowling Lanes in Lowell, MA, and the Chelmsford Senior Swimmers at the Radisson Hotel.

Besides his wife, he is survived by two sons, William J. O’Brien III and his wife, Alison of Essex, MA and Gary T. O’Brien and his wife, Nancy of Meredith, NH; two daughters, Jody Gallagher and her husband, Daniel of Lowell and Beth Ann Barros RN and her husband, Manuel “Barry” of Lowell, MA; a sister, Ellen Chisholm of Crofton, MD and eight grandchildren,  Cole, Claire, and Cooper O’Brien, Brady Gallagher, Korey and Nolan O’Brien, Andrew and Taylor Barros.  Bill was also survived by two cousins, David W. Dowd of Chelmsford and James A Dowd of Stoneham as well as many nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his brother James H. O’Brien of Hampton, NH, and his cousin the late John R Dowd of Lowell, MA.

The family would like to thank the nurses, aides and staff on IMC Floor at LGH Saints Campus for their tireless, compassionate care for Bill.

Visiting hours Mon. from  3:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the DOLAN FUNERAL HOME 106 MIDDLESEX ST. CHELMSFORD, MA.  Funeral Tues.  at 9am from the funeral home with a Funeral MASS at 10am in the Immaculate Conception Church, 3 Fayette St. Lowell, MA 01852.  Burial St. Mary Cemetery, Tewksbury. For those that wish contributions in his memory may be made to the Immaculate Conception Church Building Fund.   Arrangements by the DOLAN FUNERAL HOME 106 MIDDLESEX ST. CHELMSFORD, MA 978-251-4041.


January 23, 2017
3 PM - 7 PM
Dolan Funeral Home


January 24, 2017
9 AM
Dolan Funeral Home
  1. Susan Gemos says:

    Beth sorry to hear this sad news You are in my thoughts and prayers

  2. Laurie Fiore says:

    Gary, Nancy, Korey, & Nolan:

    We were all saddened on learning of your dad and grandpa’s passing.

    We wish you and your entire family peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your hearts.

    With our deepest sympathies,
    Mark, Laurie, Kyle & Ryan Fiore

    “Death leaves a heartache no one can heal; Love leaves a memory no one can steal.”

  3. Bill O'Neill, Jr. says:

    On behalf of my father, Bill O’Neill, Sr., my sisters Judy and Donna, and the entire O’Neill family, we wish to express our deepest condolences to Pat and the entire O’Brien family. We were reminded by Bill & Pat at the funeral of my mother, Peggy O’Neill, just a couple of years ago, that the O’Briens and our family go back to the early 1900s, starting with the close friendship of Bill O’Brien, Sr. and my maternal grandfather, James H. Riley, III. In fact, Pat & Bill are godparents to my sister, Donna. We will be certain to pray for you at this time of mourning and loss, that God may comfort you in your grief.

  4. Don McSorley says:

    May the road rise to meet you Bill…..Thank you for sharing your life & your loving family & welcoming us in with open arms. May you have all the grace that God will afford you for living a life so earnestly with such a humble heart & having nothing but kind thoughts & a warm smile for your fellow man. You are already missed by many I’m sure! Especially your family & quite possibly the dog next door who will be looking for his 2 bones daily. (I had to see it to believe it, so kind)…..until we all meet again, may God hold you in the palm of his hand. Peace and love to all.

  5. Maureen& Michael Rogers family says:

    Jody and family, we are deeply sorry for the loss of your dad, husband, grandfather, father in law. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. God Bless.

  6. Kathy & Mark Mennella says:

    We would like to express our sympathy to the O’Brien family, you are in our thoughts and prayers. Bill was a great man!

  7. Gail says:

    I met bill just last April, at the Radison Pool. He kept us entertained, and always with a smile on his face. Though I only knew him a short while, I am honored to have met such a kind, caring, fun, fellow. Rest in peace, Bill! You will remain in the hearts of those whom you have touched.

  8. Catherine "Kay" Fallon says:

    Pat and O’Brien Family, There are not words to express our sadness on the loss of Bill. He will be in our prayers every day. We agree with all the comments made. Bill was a bright light at all our 1949 Class Reunions. Love Kay and Jim Fallon, Lowell, MA.

  9. Jodi Johnson says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with the family. I feel honored and grateful to have had the opportunity to meet such a kind spirited man as Bill. He never failed to smile and make me feel welcome every time I woke him up at all hours of the night, all night, every night. It is people like him that remind me why I do what I do. He will forever have a place in all our hearts.

  10. GeAnita Smith CNA says:

    I send to your family hear felt condolences as you were fortunate and blessed to have experienced his life for so many year while I only had the pleasure of carung for him during his transition his courage and, strength and high spirits during the most challenging time in his life was so beautiful and that smile and laughter filled his hospital room a joy that he selfishly shared with my coworkers at IMC Saints Campus of Lowell General you have forever touched our hearts and reminded us why we do the work that we do…Thank you Mr. Bill rest well

  11. Donna Draney says:

    I am so grateful to have met and spent time in Earth with Bill as well as Pat. Very special, kind, and loving who enriched my life as well as my family’s.
    My love and sympathies to Pat and all the family. You are in my heart and prayers.
    Rest in peace Bill in the loving presence of our God and with all your loved ones gone before.

  12. John Ahern says:

    Can’t say sorry. Bill was the greatest as well as Pat. All I can say is that YOU were the GREATEST! You will be missed and always loved. But you will ALWAYS be here. R.I.P. my friend

  13. Brenda Clark says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with The O’Brien family. Mr. O’Brien was such a nice man . Growing up as a child I had the most fond memories of him. He always smiled, always being silly, make jokes, playing in the pool, and all the funny faces. I saw him almost every day, always a smile. Thank you for the wonderful childhood memories. Until we meet again.

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