Michael O'Brien Jr

Michael O’Brien, Jr., of Brockton, formerly of Dorchester, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday October 21. He was 79 years young. Mr. O’Brien was the son of the late Michael & Mary (O’Regan) O’Brien of Dorchester, formerly of Cork City, Ireland.

Michael was born in Cork City, Ireland, where he sported and played in his youth with the spirit of a wild colonial boy, before following in the footsteps of his older brother and sister, immigrating to the United States at the age of 17. Michael began his new life in Boston focused on hard work and family. With the thoughts of his parents, family and his home of Ireland on his mind, he began his journey with meticulous focus and silent strategy. He had several jobs before he found his calling in construction, at Component Assembly where he worked with passion for 40 years as a laborer, and ultimately a foreman. To say he brought the job home with him was an understatement, as he cared deeply for each member of his ‘crew’ and spoke of them with affection like they were his own family. Their struggles became his own, and he always tried his best to take care of them. They became part of the framework of not only his career, but his life. He worked mostly in the city, and while his fellow laborers became a big part of his life, together they added to the legacy of the city of Boston, quite literally changing its reflection with each new high rise structure that they built. Michael left a small piece of himself at each project, and as a testament to that his name can be found engraved in the walls of the John Joseph Moakley Court House on Boston’s beautiful Waterfront, where his spent many of his afternoons.

He was a loyal member of the Laborers Union, (local 223 in Dorchester) and was proud to have achieved his ‘gold card’ which commemorated 50 years of continuous membership.

He maintained his laborer’s discipline throughout his life, even well after retirement. Rising early, saying his prayers, taking long walks – (usually 8 – 10 miles a day) and getting all his work done in the early part of the day: whether it was a new project around the house, meticulously caring for the lawn, or trying his hand at gardening, he was relentless in his pursuit of perfection. With the work done, he would relax and enjoy watching Boston sports in the evenings. He was an avid fan of the Boston Celtics, the New England Patriots and the Boston Red Sox and he enjoyed each game he watched whether it was with his family and friends, or home in the company of loyal 4 legged pal, Murphy.

Michael loved the ocean, and very soon after landing in Boston was introduced to Cape Cod, which became a place where he would spend much time in his life. Whether it was weekends with friends, or vacations with family, he looked forward to the peace and quiet he found at the Cape, as well as the special moments that he carried with him each time he left.

In recent years, Michael had found his way back to the home of his childhood, Cork City Ireland and while there reconnected not only with his routes, but with an extended network of friends and family that became a new source of joy and companionship for him. He spent time telling them of his memories of Cork while they welcomed him home and gave him new memories to carry with him. He sat in their kitchens and sang, he went to their weddings and danced, and he ultimately opened his heart to them and cared for them, and that favor was duly returned.

Michael was humble in his achievements, preferring to praise others than boast of his own accomplishments, however there’s no mistake that he was a success in his work and in his life. He was a man of few words, but much thought – and thought often about his family and his friends. He was a loyal son to his parents, and did his best in terms of being a source of support for his siblings. But perhaps the title he wore best was ‘Uncle Mike’, and that is one that he worked on over the course of 60 years as his nephews and nieces came into his life

When we lose someone, we must learn to not live without them. But to live with the love they left behind, and we are so grateful for the love he gave us.

Michael is the loving brother of William P. O’Brien, (deceased) and his wife Mary O’Brien of Roslindale, Margaret “Peggy” Kelly, and her husband Timothy Kelly (deceased) of Dorchester, Sr. Mary Damien, O.P of Bushey, Watford England and
Moira O’Dwyer, of Brockton. Beloved ‘Uncle Mike’ of Billy, John, Anne Marie, Paul, Grace, Michael, Chris, Michelle, Brian, Helen as well as many great nieces and nephews.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated in St. Joseph Church, 153 S. Franklin St., (Rte 37) Holbrook on Thursday, October 28 at 10am. Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend. Visitation will be held prior to the Mass on Thursday from 8:30am-9:30am at the Hurley Currie Funeral Home, 127 S. Franklin St., Holbrook. Interment will take place in St. Joseph Cemetery, West Roxbury.

In Lieu of flowers, donations in Michael’s memory may be made to honor his devout faith in God to:
The Diocese of Oakland retreat Center
1965 Reliez Valley Rd., Lafayette CA, 94549. To help support the work of this center devoted to the memory of St. Maria Goretti, the patron saint of love and forgiveness.


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