Jeffrey Paul O'Brien Photo

Jeffrey Paul O'Brien

Age: 66

Date of Death: January 27, 2024

Monmouth Junction, NJ

Jeffrey Paul O’Brien lived. It’s crucial to understand that his story begins and ends with that word. His life began on August 1st, 1957, and he lived for 66 years—63 of which were spent – in true George Bailey fashion – in South Brunswick, New Jersey. But a lot of life can be lived within the borders of one’s hometown. Jeff had steely blue eyes, a round Irish head, arresting eyebrows, a big button nose, broad, freckled shoulders, bear-strength hands, and a mischievous laugh. He was always affable, yet often reserved, and ever observant. Strangers often read this as diffident or enigmatical; but he wasn’t aloof, he was merely the quiet obelisk in the heart of the room, biding his time, waiting for the moment to make everyone laugh. Growing up, Jeff’s older brother Edward inspired and enabled his rambunctious, slightly rascally instincts, while Jeff’s younger brother Paul encouraged and protected his strong but tender heart. At 16, in the fall of 1973, Jeff started dating his life’s love—his High School sweetheart—his eternal cheerleader—his best friend—Carole O’Brien. They were married in 1981. She was by his side when he passed. Jeff and Carole had three children. Sean O’Brien, their eldest, lives in California with his partner Kelly Ridgeway. Their middle child, Allison O’Brien, and son-in-law, Nevin Olson, are busy raising Jeff’s grandson and best buddy, Jack Olson, and Jack’s impish little pixie sister, Juila Olson. Finally, Jeff’s youngest child, confidant, and partner in crime, Erin O’Brien, carries on Jeff’s tradition of molding young hearts and minds as a teacher. For as long as Jeff lived, he loved. He loved golf, he loved the gym, he loved discovering new music, he loved watching the sunrise over the ocean, he loved solving other people’s problems, he loved laughter, he loved hope, he loved joy, he loved kindness, he loved decisiveness, he loved friendship, he loved love. He didn’t hate much besides the sound of people chewing food and the month of February. Jeff O’Brien’s overflowing life ended peacefully on January 27th, 2024, at 11:11 am, but his unwritten sheets survive in those who knew him best. His echoes can be found in mannerisms, melodies, and memories: a fervent finger point at some sapid nosh… a particularly catchy tune… a half-forgotten inside joke… the word sheet… a quiet drink… a luscious ocean wave… the ping of a golf club… and in the void where his ever-attentive ear would always find you. A memorial will be held on Saturday, February 3rd near Jeff’s childhood home at Grace Presbyterian, on Sand Hills Road, in Kendall Park, New Jersey. The gathering begins at 11:00 am; service begins soon after. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to the Franklin Food Bank. For his whole life, whether Jeff was working in hospitality, A.V., automobiles, or was on one of his too-rare vacations, all he wanted was for everyone around him to be happy. So, if you’re reading this, please know that he hopes you’re