Cover photo for Thomas Burke O'Brien's Obituary
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Thomas Burke O'Brien

October 1, 1943 — March 23, 2024

Durham, NH

Thomas Burke O'Brien

Thomas B. O’Brien, 80, of Durham, Wolfeboro, and Amherst, NH, died on March 23, 2024 at RiverWoods Durham surrounded by his loving family. Tom was born in Pittsburgh, PA on October 1, 1943, son of the late Thomas and Dorothy O’Brien. He was the beloved husband of Mary (Simler) O’Brien, and is survived by his son Douglas O’Brien and daughter-in-law Susan O’Brien of Walpole, MA and grandchildren Jennifer, Dan and Kevin O’Brien; his daughter Karen O’Brien and son-in-law Gary Romano of Lynnfield, MA and grandchildren Benjamin and Finnian Romano;  his brother Edward O’Brien and sister in-law Susan O’Brien, of Silverthorne, CO, and niece Heather Greene of Eagle, CO; his sister Suzanne O’Brien Paulsen (predeceased) of San Francisco CA, and nieces Bridget Doll and Katie Paulsen of San Anselmo, CA.  

Tom graduated from Shaler High School in Glenshaw, Pennsylvania (1961), and Saint Francis University, Loretto Pennsylvania (1965), where he met Mary.  They were married after graduation.  Tom served in the United States Navy from 1965-1970 as a Naval Aviator of the submarine reconnaissance aircraft, the P3-Orion, based in San Francisco and Tokyo.  Upon honorable discharge, he joined Delta Airlines as a commercial airline pilot for over 25 years. Tom shared his passion for flying as a flight instructor both in the Navy and with Delta Airlines.  Tom and Mary raised their children in Amherst, NH where Tom taught the kids to swim, hike, and fly in his favorite plane, a blue and white Citabria fully aerobatic two-seater sport plane.

In 1996, Tom and Mary moved to Wolfeboro, NH where they lived until 2019.  Tom loved Lake Winnipesaukee and had a deep commitment to the community in Wolfeboro. Tom was involved from the earliest days in the development and building of The Nick Recreation Park.  It was one of his greatest joys to be a part of creating space for all ages to gather in Wolfeboro.  He remains recognized as Director Emeritus, and honorably one of the sports fields bears his name.   During his years in Wolfeboro, Tom also served as President of the Wolfeboro Lions Club, a vestryman at All Saints Church, a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, a Trustee of the Lakes Region Conservation Trust, and Chairman of the Campaign to Protect Sewall Woods.  In his spare time, Tom enjoyed golf, skiing, and traversing Lake Winnipesaukee in his boat while searching for Loons.   

In lieu of flowers donations in his memory may be made to The Nick Recreation Park  

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas Burke O'Brien, please visit our flower store.

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