Obituary of the late Doreen O’Brien

O’Brien, (Ann) Doreen (nee O’Driscoll) – It is with tremendous sadness that we announce the passing of a beautiful wife, mom, Nanny, sister, aunt, best friend, and supporter.

Predeceased by her parents, Ronald and Mabel O’Driscoll, Doreen leaves to mourn Denis, her loving husband of 51 years; and her legacy of her children and precious grandchildren: Sean (Hannah and Emma) and their mother Tania, Jodi(Paul) (Ksenia and Cian), and Janis.

Doreen leaves with heartfelt memories her three siblings: Norman (Karen), Barb (Gerard), and Sharon (Ivy Rose). She had many life-long friends she cherished namely Renate, the Carr’s, the Coish’s, the Holley’s, the Clark’s, the McNeil’s, and all the Funny Farm cottage crew.

She dearly loved her niece and nephew: Chantelle (Rick, and son Reigan), and Jan (Julie, and children Grayson, Wyatt, and Delaney). She developed very close friendships throughout the extended O’Brien family and recognizes the joys they brought to her family life.

Hailing from the Southern Shore of Newfoundland, Doreen and Denis made their way as a young military couple to the Mainland where they proudly raised their children in many Canadian cities and towns. Despite an adult lifetime on the Mainland, Doreen remained connected to Newfoundland culture through food, art, music and “having a laugh”.

During this time, they enjoyed curling, bowling, cottage life, and trips home. Doreen served along side and supported Denis’ military career quietly with incredible fortitude, courage, and spirit. She did this whilst being a fierce advocate for Janis at every posting.

Doreen was a creative, self-taught, and multi-talented artist who shared her myriad of talents through crafts (sewing, quilting, knitting, crocheting, ceramics, paper toll, painting) and giving of herself in so many other ways. Over the years, she has kept many toes, fingers, and heads warm with her gifts.

Her smile was radiant, her laugh brightened a room, and her strength not only contagious but inspirational. She spent so much of her own time creating things to give to others. She touched so many people. True to her Irish ginger form, she could be stubborn to a fault; she loved a good racket, could give as good as she could get, but was quick to forgive (to forget, not so much!).

Music was a big part of Doreen’s life – she loved going to concerts, and listening to her favourites, as was her ever-growing collection of coats and shoes!

During the retirement years, Doreen and Denis spent their time in Inverary, ON (near Kingston) where they enjoyed making their home an oasis for many. She loved gardening, tending her precious dahlias and lupins, and enjoying sitting by the fire in her yard, especially during maple syrup season.

She will be eternally missed; Her wisdom will be called upon by many and her kindness treasured. Eternally thankful for her blessings, her graciousness will forever be remembered through her words, “Thank you kindly.”

There will be a visitation held on Sunday, January 7th, 2024 from 2:00 – 4:30 pm at the James Reid Funeral home, 1900 John Counter Blvd, Kingston, ON. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to Community Living Kingston and District ( or the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JRDF Canada). In remembrance of mom, please plant a flower in your garden for her this spring.

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