Obituary of Jeffrey Stuart O'Brien
Jeffrey “Jeff” O’Brien was born on July 17, 1947, in Tulsa, OK to Robert and Jean O’Brien. As a kid he moved around quite a bit. The family made their way from Tulsa to St. Louis (where his sister Cathy was born) then onto Alexandria before settling in St. Petersburg.
As a kid, Jeff was wild about sports. In little league, he was great in the field as a shortstop, but no one would have mistaken him for his hero Stan “The Man” Musial when he was up to bat. As he got into high school, in part due to his father’s love of the game and growing up on Pasadena golf course, Jeff got into golf. This would become his true passion. Aided by practicing every day after school, he got pretty good, too. He was on the varsity golf team at Boca Ciega and then made the team at St. Petersburg Junior College. He wouldn’t go any further competitively but would continue playing for as long as he could, breaking par on many occasions (his 68 at Pasadena with his kids will always be remembered, especially since he “wasn’t really hitting them good” that day).
Jeff went on to attend the University of South Florida, and in the summer of ’68, after his junior year, he got a job at the Science Center in St. Petersburg. There he met and began to date Anne Ford (who unfortunately attended Florida State at the time). After receiving his bachelor’s degree in marketing, he enrolled in law school at the University of Florida. Anne transferred to be with him, and they married on October 2, 1971.
After a brief stint with the Army in Newport News, VA, Jeff began his 45-year long career as a board-certified Florida civil trial lawyer. He started with the firm of Harrison, Greene, Mann, Davenport, Rowe, and Stanton. Here he would make countless friends that he would remain in touch with for the rest of his days.
Jeff and Anne had their first son, Chris, in the summer of 1980 with Robby arriving almost exactly 2 years later. From then on, his entire life revolved around his boys. He was at every soccer and baseball game when they were kids; every flag football tournament or summer basketball league game when they had moved into adulthood. A “World’s Best Dad” coffee mug wouldn’t have been hyperbole when it came to describing him. Simply by being himself and showering them with unconditional love, he showed them what it was like to be a good and decent person and shaped them into the men they are today.
Jeff was a family first man if there ever was one. In addition to spending the last 51 years of his life with his wife and doing everything he could to make sure his boys had the best life possible, he spoke to his mother daily and stopped by her house nearly as often. He was also very close with his sister, routinely heading over to visit or take her out to lunch. Wherever he went, he struck up a conversation with strangers. He just liked talking to people. He was the friendliest person in Pinellas County.
Monday, March 20th, Jeff passed away surrounded by the people that will miss him more than he could possibly know.
Jeff is survived by his wife of 51 years, Anne; sons Christopher and Robert; sister Cathy; Uncle Jim; cousins Greg, Brad, and Tami; brothers-in-law Kurt, Charles, and Bill; daughters-in-law Sarah and Hilary; and his beautiful granddaughters Charlotte and Caroline.
A celebration of his life will be held at Pasadena Yacht and Country Club on Friday, April 28th at 2:00 p.m. Country club casual dress is preferred, as Jeff hated wearing ties.To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Jeffrey O'Brien , please visit our Tree Store