February 08, 2013
George G. O’Brien of Cranberry Township passed away peacefully February 8, 2013 at Cranberry Place, UPMC Passavant. He was 83.
George was born in Pittsburgh on November 11, 1929 the son of Daniel D. and Stella (Bosh) O’Brien. He was preceded in death by his parents and older brothers Daniel David & Eugene Edward (Eddie). George grew up in West Mifflin and attended Homeville Elementary and Homeville Junior High School. He graduated from the Schwab Vocational High School in Homestead. He also attended the University of Pittsburgh.
In 1947 he started work as a laborer in the #1 Machine Shop (the Big Shop) at the Homestead Works of U.S. Steel. In 1949, he joined the U.S. Navy for 3 years and was sent to boot camp at Great Lakes, IL. He earned the rank of machinist mate 3rd class in 1951 after attending machinist mate’s school. After boot camp he was assigned to the CA 123 Heavycruiser U.S.S. Albany, where he was assigned to the after engine room working the evaporators and operating the steam throttle, which controlled the speed of the ship.
Although his enlistment was extended because of the Korean War, he and Patricia L. Kroll were married September 16, 1952. He was honorably discharged March 25, 1953.
George returned to U.S. Steel as a helper in the #1 machine shop and eventually worked in the Power and Fuel Department as a Utility Analyst (UA) until his retirement in June 1987.
George and Pat raised their family in West Mifflin. They also had a summer home in Edinboro, PA for over 30 years where they created magical summers for their children with days filled with boating, skiing, and swimming. One summer while George was enjoying 13 weeks vacation from his job at U.S. Steel, he built a garage.
In 1993, George and Pat moved from West Mifflin to Cranberry Township. George joined the Cranberry Township Elks Lodge 2249 in 1994. In February 1994 a V.F.W. was formed and he joined and was elected junior vice-commander of V.F. W. Post 879, Cranberry Township. He also began volunteering at the Veteran’s Administration Medical Service in Butler. George volunteered there for 12 years, giving 4,240 hours of his time which included 9 boat trips for veterans.
George was appointed Butler Veteran’s Hospital Representative by the Elks Lodge and served 6 years. He was helpful in having the Lodge host the VA Hospitalized Veterans twice a year for lunch and bingo. The Elks honored George with a variety of awards: “”Citizen of the Year 1998-199″”, “”Veteran Volunteer of the Year 1999-2000″”, “”Outstanding Service Commendation 2000-2001″”, “”Citizen of the Year 2002-2003″”, and “”Citizenship Award 2003-2004″”.
The Cranberry Rotary Club honored George with the “”Service Above Self”” award in 2004.
In 1994, George was elected Commander of V.F.W. Post 879 Cranberry Township. He served 13 ½ years as Commander, 9 years as the Voice of Democracy Chairman, 8 years as Patriots Pen Chairman, and 14 years as Buddy Poppy Chairman. Post 879 was an “”all-state”” post 10 times while he was Commander. He acquired for the Post a $2,000 grant from State Senator Melissa Hart to buy Post Colors and $10,000 from State Senator Jane Orie for Post Color Guard uniforms. George was instrumental in obtaining the location in North Boundary Park from Cranberry Township government to erect the “”All Veterans Memorial.”” In 2008, a resolution passed by Cranberry Township government, honored George’s service to the community including 6 years on the Community Day Committee.
George was elected Commander of V.F.W. District 25 which included Butler, Beaver, and Lawrence counties with 22 posts in 1999-2000. He was District Voice of Democracy Chairman for 6 years, Patriots Pen Chairman 6 years, and Trustee 1 year. George was National Veterans Administration Volunteer Service Representative at the Butler VA Hospital for 5 years. He recorded all V.F.W. volunteer hours at the hospital, ordered and presented all hourly awards to the volunteers, and hosted the annual Christmas party for the hospitalized veterans. He was also a member of the Ohio Valley Marine Corps League.
George is survived by his wife of 60 years Patricia (Kroll), daughter Shelley Dolan (Craig) of Bel Air, MD; son Terry (former daughter-in-law Ann) of Morgantown, WV; and daughter Wendy Lydon (Jack) of Cranberry Township. He is also survived by 6 grandchildren Mollai and Craig Dolan; Shane, Colin, and Trent O’Brien; and Keara Lydon; brother-in-law Jim Kroll (Sandy) of Phoenix, AZ; and several nieces and nephews.
Visitation is 6-8 Sunday and 2-4 & 6-8 Monday at Devlin Funeral Home, Rochester Road, Cranberry Township. Mass of Christian Burial is Tuesday February 12th at 10AM at St. Ferdinand Church.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to VFW Post 879 c/o: 715 Norman Dr, Cranberry Township, PA 16066 or Cranberry Place Activities Fund, 5 St. Francis Way, Cranberry Township, PA 16066 or Family Hospice & Palliative Care.