Becker Funeral Home

219 Kinderkamack Road, Westwood, NJ

In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Ms. Barbara R. O’Brien’s memory to support Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Checks, made payable to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, should b...

Barbara R. O'Brien

June 29, 1937August 9, 2019

Barbara R. O’Brien, 82 of Brielle, New Jersey, formerly of Middletown New Jersey, died peacefully on August 9, 2019. Barbara was born in North Bergen, New Jersey and was the daughter of the late Francis and Marie of Lavallette New Jersey. She was the wife of Eugene J. O’Brien who predeceased her. She attended Cliffside Park High School where she excelled in academics and skipped two elementary grades to graduate early. She was liked by all, had many friends and was the head majorette in her high school band. Barbara attended Katharine Gibbs in New York City, where she obtained her Associate’s Degree. She worked for the American Can Company as an Administrator, as an Office Manager for a neurologist and most recently as an Editor for GWF Associates in the pharmaceutical industry where she produced educational programs for physicians and pharmacists. She was also President of the Berkeley Square Condominium Association in Brielle, New Jersey. Barbara was a born leader, mentor and collaborator. She had many friends from all walks of her life and was a relationship expert, working with people and keeping them together. She taught us all to believe in ourselves and reach for the stars! She believed in her friends and family members when they did not believe in themselves. She gave us all faith and strength even when we lost ours. She was brave and comforting to all of us when facing the biggest challenges of her life including fighting a terrible cancer. She always found time to mentor and coach her children and grandchildren. Barbara set a very high bar for continuation of her legacy which was to love and care for her family above all else. She had depth of character and strength of convictions. She lives on in our hearts and souls and in the lessons she taught us. She touched the very core of every person she met with her warmth and keen sense of humor. Barbara, or Grandmom Bobbie as she was called by her grandchildren, was a well-loved and respected woman. She is survived by her children, Peg O’Brien Bernhardt and her husband Ted of Concord, Massachusetts, Paul O’Brien Ph.D. and Nancy Ricany, RN of Brielle, New Jersey and Donald O’Brien and his wife Diane of Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey. She leaves six cherished grandchildren, Samantha O’Brien, Christopher Bernhardt, Nicole O’Brien, Amanda O’Brien, Harrison Bernhardt and Jade Ricany O’Brien. Family and friends are invited to the funeral services which begins with visitation at Becker Funeral Home, 219 Kinderkamack Road, Westwood, New Jersey on Friday, August 16th from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Church of St. Andrew, 120 Washington Avenue Westwood, New Jersey at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 17th. Barbara will be interred at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Hawthorne New York at a later date and the burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, please send donations in Ms. Barbara R. O’Brien’s memory to support Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Checks, made payable to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, should be mailed to: Attn: Rachel Flannery, Memorial Sloan Kettering Office of Development, P.O. Box 27106, New York, New York 10087. Please indicate on the check that the gift is in memory of Ms. Barbara R. O’Brien and donations will be directed to the research team for her doctor to help find a cure for this insidious cancer.


  • Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center


  • Visitation Friday, August 16, 2019
  • Funeral Mass Saturday, August 17, 2019


Barbara R. O'Brien

have a memory or condolence to add?

Kathy Healy- Fitzsimmons

August 16, 2019

Peggy, Paul and Don,

Sincerest condolences on the loss of your beloved mom.
I was reading the news today and saw her obituary.
I remember all of you from many years ago when you lived in Middletown and we knew each other through the Gillespie family.
I went to kindergarten with Don and remember Paul going to boy scouts with my brother Michael and also working with Michael as life guards at Ideal Beach.
Having lost our mom to cancer in 2013 and in July 2019 our dad also passed away, we know your sadness.
May the beautiful memories you have of your mom sustain you always. May she rest in peace.

Jusselene Lizaire

August 12, 2019

Barbara was a very kind, sweet and gentle person. She always respected me and always had fun with her.