Paul O'Brien

Paul J. O'Brien

1936 - 2020

Recommend Paul's obituary to your friends
Share Your Memory of

Obituary of Paul J. O'Brien

Paul married Betty Gates in 1958. The couple lived in Hamburg, NY and North Port, FL and have six children, Kathy (Larry Philipps), Greg (Joanne Michalski), Patrick (Yvette McGee), Karen (Steve Lazickas), Julie (Mike Carroll) and David (Jen Grieble). He was a doting son-in-law to Betty's mother, Winnie, for over 40 years. He was generous, pragmatic and a lot of fun. Paul was both charismatic and wise, making friends wherever he went. In his career at General Motors, he was known for his kind, natural leadership, as well as in his neighborhoods, church and communities. Paul's life was rich in family and rooted in selflessness. He was a lifelong Christian, a parishioner at St. Bernadette Church and a volunteer with Betty for many years through Kairos prison ministry in North Collins. He had a curious and active mind, staying abreast of current events, financial news, and social issues. His curiosity led his young family on cross country road trips and later welcomed exchange students from throughout the world into their home. Paul and Betty traveled in the US and South America, visiting friends along the way. He had a passion for tennis, playing regularly and taking opportunities to share the sport with family, friends and even complete strangers. While dedicated to an active lifestyle, Paul wasn't a runner. Then at age 43, he began with a jog around the block. He went on to run several marathons, just one illustration of his limitless vision for life, challenge and new experiences - both for himself and those he knew. He enjoyed a summer bike ride and the outdoors. He also loved pancakes and maple walnut ice cream. Upon retirement, Paul dedicated himself full time to his life's passion: people. He attended thousands of kids' sporting events, musical recitals and backyard parties. He helped anyone with anything, anytime. The man loved a project. He challenged his children and grandchildren to pursue excellence and unwaveringly supported each of them. Paul and Betty began a new chapter of life wintering in Lazy River retirement park in North Port, FL, where they quickly and unsurprisingly built deep friendships. They enjoyed boat rides, bike rides, social occasions and long conversations. Paul was active with volunteer groups and committees throughout the park, developing meaningful connections. Paul's legacy is one of kindness, joy and a loving marriage. He will be profoundly missed by family and friends, including grandchildren Courtney (nee Philipps) and Steve Suda, Joel and Sam Philipps, Brett and Brigid Philipps, Dylan and Elise Philipps, Heather Lazickas and Harry Mayers, Brittany (nee Lazickas) and Bob Neumann, Andrew Lazickas, Nathan Lazickas, Allie (nee O'Brien) and Luke Philippi, Patrick O'Brien, Zak O'Brien, Lauren (nee O'Brien) and John Lengel, Christina O'Brien, Gregory O'Brien, Molly O'Brien, Kate O'Brien, Maggie Carroll, Sean Carroll, and great-grandchildren Haley, Trevor, Greyson, Teagan, Tessa, Tiernan, Finn, Addy and Blake. A Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Bernadette RC Church, 5930 South Abbott Road, Orchard Park on Monday, January 4 at 10:00 AM. The Mass was livestreamed at A celebration of Paul's life will be at a future date. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Bernadette Church Parish Neighbors. Please share memories and interest in attending a future memorial to [email protected] To plant Memorial Trees in memory of Paul J. O'Brien, please click here to visit our Sympathy Store.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Paul O'Brien, please visit Tribute Store
Services for Paul O'Brien
There are no events scheduled. You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or planting a memorial tree in memory of Paul O'Brien.
Visit the Tribute Store