Bradford — Mr. William J. O’Brien (Bill, Buff) Sr. 94, a lifelong resident of Bradford, passed away on September 30, 2012 at Merrimack Valley Hospice House in Haverhill. He was surrounded during that time by loving family and friends.
Bill was born in Bradford on April 14, 1918, son of the late Robert E. and Florence E. (McKiegue) O’Brien.
Bill was a graduate of Haverhill High School, class of 1935. He was employed as a Planner for AVCO for many years retiring in 1980. While at AVCO he worked on the Heat Shield for the Apollo Spaceship Program as well as the Peacekeeper Missile Program. After retirement he spent many wonderful years with the love of his life, Florence O’Brien, in Lake Worth, Fla., as well as doing other traveling together.
After his wife Florence, of 57 years, passed away, Bill chose to direct his energies to the children. He became a volunteer tutor at Bradford Elementary School. He worked there as a math tutor and as part of their afterschool program, Discovery Club.
Bill was a lifelong member at Sacred Heart’s Church in Bradford and the Knights of Columbus. He was a very faith oriented man, his last trip being to the Holy land, Jerusalem in his 80’s. He enjoyed time with his family, dancing, gardening, big band music and life in general. His children and grandchildren were his focus, as he enjoyed hearing about their accomplishments and their everyday lives.
Bill was the husband of the late Florence (Hodgdon) O’Brien, who died on June 11, 1998. He is survived by his two sons and their wives, William J. Jr. and Diane O’Brien of Hampton N.H., Mark A. and Cindy O’Brien, of Las Vegas; three daughters and their husbands, Susan M. and her husband William Pittman of Gloucester, Va., Kathleen A. and her husband Robert Jakubasz of Kingston, N.H., Terri M and her husband Michael Finn of Stratham, N.H.; a son-in -law, David Apitz of Haverhill; ten grandchildren, Derek Scalese, Brian and Kevin Pittman, Julie Barker and Amy O’Brien, Timothy and Andrew Jakubasz and Brittany, Thomas and William Apitz; four great grandchildren as well as two step-grandchildren and seven step-great grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.