Doane Beal & Ames


Robert Lincoln O'Brien

February 8, 1927September 25, 2020

Robert (Bob) L. O’Brien, 93, of South Yarmouth, MA died peacefully on September 25, 2020. He was the beloved husband of Susie (Marjorie) K. O’Brien who passed away in 2018, with whom they shared 61 loving years of marriage. Born in Dorchester, MA and raised in Hingham, MA, he was the son of the late Helen and William O’Brien. Bob was a graduate of Hingham High School and an undergraduate of Boston College. In 1951, Bob joined the United States Coast Guard as an officer and started his expansive 30 year career. He steadily moved up in the ranks from Ensign to Captain and retired in 1981. Prior to Boston College, he served as a USCG Seaman in WWII. Bob’s last post before retiring in 1981 was that of chief of staff and deputy commander of the USCG’s First District, the New England District. His responsibilities included supervising district staff and major field activities such as search and rescue, commercial vessel safety and various other responsibilities. He was also deputy director of reserve personnel, chief plans and programs officer and chief budget officer during a 23 year land career that followed service up to commanding officer aboard various Coast Guard cutters. He had assignments in Alaska, several in Boston and four separate tours in Washington, D.C., where ultimately he became the comptroller for the entire Coast Guard. Immediately following his retirement, Bob accepted a position as Supervisory Administrative Assistant of DPW, Town of Barnstable. He was promoted to DPW Superintendent and after a few years decided he would prefer to spend more time with his family and requested that he transfer to the job of Assistant DPW Superintendent. He retired from the Town of Barnstable in 1999 and was hired in 2000 as Special Assistant to the town Manager and ultimately retired from the Town of Barnstable in 2018. Bob played a critical role in all aspects of the local government in the Town of Barnstable including its organizational structure, financial management and emergency response program to name of few areas. Bob served on the Steamship Authority Board of Governors for the Town of Barnstable for 25 years until 2016 and as chairman for some of those years. He was instrumental in the transformation of the Steamship Authority fleet including vessel construction, vessel modification and refurbishment projects. Bob also played a critical role in the Authority’s capital projects in Hyannis including reconstruction of the Hyannis terminal and slip improvements. Bob served on the Barnstable Municipal Airport Commission board for 13 years and retired in 2017. Bob was a charter member of the Coast Guard Heritage Museum in Barnstable, MA which opened in 2005. He was also a life member of the West Dennis Yacht Club, West Dennis, MA and served as Commodore, 1982-1983. He was also a former member of the Hyannis Yacht Club. Bob loved traveling and found time to travel with his wife to Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Russia, Alaska, Bermuda and the Caribbean. He was also a lifelong sailor and owned various sailboats and power boats over the years. Survived by his two daughters, Kathryn A. Gaglione and husband, Thomas Gaglione of Seabrook, NH and Elizabeth E. Cunniff and husband, J.M. Cunniff, Jr. of Marblehead, MA and pre-deceased by his son, Mark E. O’Brien. He also leaves behind three grandchildren, Alaina Gaglione, Daniel Gaglione and Michael Cunniff. Funeral mass will be held on Thursday October 1, 2020 at 10 am at St Pius Church, South Yarmouth, MA followed by a burial at St. Francis Xavier Cemetery, Centerville, MA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Dana Farber. For online condolences, please visit .


  • Helen O’Brien, Mother (deceased)
  • William O’Brien, Father (deceased)
  • Susie (Marjorie) K. O’Brien, Wife (deceased)
  • Kathryn A.Gaglione (husband, Thomas Gaglione), Daughter
  • Elizabeth E. Cunniff (husband, J.M. Cunniff, Jr.), Daughter
  • Mark E. O’Brien, Son (deceased)
  • Alaina Gaglione, Grandchild
  • Daniel Gaglione, Grandchild
  • Michael Cunniff, Grandchild

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  • Dana Farber


  • Funeral Mass

    Thursday, October 1, 2020

  • Burial

    Thursday, October 1, 2020


Robert Lincoln O'Brien

have a memory or condolence to add?

Rob and Bev Parke

October 3, 2020

Our hearts go out to all the family, and especially Liz and Kate. Bob and Susie were wonderful neighbors across the street before the move to Thirwood Place. We have many memories of their kindness and good humor.

Kevin ONeil

October 1, 2020

I was saddened to hear of Bobs passing. There are not enough adjectives to describe what a wonderful person he was but Intelligent ,personable and witty are just a few .
I had the pleasure of working with Bob when he was Superintendent of the Barnstable DPW and I was Chairman of the DPW Commission. He made my job easy.
My only regret is that Bob and I and mutual friend Dr. Phil Reilly were supposed to have lunch together and because of circumstances it did not happen.
My sincerest condolences
Kevin ONeil

Thomas Lynch

October 1, 2020

Bob O'Brien's record of public service was exemplary. I knew him for many years and had the privilege of working with Bob for eight years when I was Assistant Barnstable Town Manager and then Town Manager. His work putting together our capital and operating budgets was second to none. He was not shy about offering helpful editing tips on my annual budget message! His office was part of the town manager's office so on a daily basis we would discuss the issues of the day. Many visiting staff members always took the time to talk to Bob and say hello or seek his advice. He was a mentor and a friend and I will miss him.

Richard Fichter

October 1, 2020

To the O'Brien Family,
Bob's history and record with the Coast. Guard is nothing short of awesome.
Later in life, he became one if the founders of the Coast Guard Heritage Museum in Barnstable Village. This is where our lifes path crossed. In my early days at the Museum, I'm more than positive that we met, conversed and very likely swapped a sea story or two.
We are Shipmates in service as well as in Museum life.
May Bob Rest in Peace and be with our Supreme Commandant for his last and permanent change of station.
Richard H. Fichter
BOD Coast Guard Heritage Museum

Robert Jones

September 30, 2020

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Bob O'Brien with whom I am proud to have been a friend. A quiet man who reached great heights in his lifetime from his career in the USCG with ships under his command and duty as the the CFO of the Coast Guard's District One stretching from Delaware to Maine. Upon retirement he became the assistant director of the Town of Barnstable DPW and also faithfully served the town by representing the town for 26 years on the Steamship Authority's Board of Governors. My sincere condolences to his family and may he rest in peace. I will truly miss him. Bob Jones

Roger Parsons

September 29, 2020

Enjoyed working with Bob - a man of integrity and determination. My thoughts and prayers with you the family. Roger Parsons (Town Engineer ex.) Barnstable.

Linda Hutchenrider

September 29, 2020

My condolences to Bob’s family. He was a true gentleman and was an asset to the Town of Barnstable in a multitude of ways. He did love to talk about the Coast Guard. So Semper Paratus, Bob, you will be missed.


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