Obituary: Walter Patrick O’Brien
Walter Patrick O’Brien, a lifelong resident of Montclair who had a long career on Wall Street as a bond underwriter, died on Jan. 14, 2022. He was 95.
The son of Irish immigrants, Mr. O’Brien was born in 1926 and attended Immaculate Conception grammar and high school, graduating in 1943, followed by a postgraduate year playing basketball at Montclair Academy.
After high school, he enlisted in the Army and served in post-World War II Naples, before earning a bachelor of science at Seton Hall University on the GI Bill.
Mr. O’Brien built a successful career on Wall Street as an underwriter of municipal bonds, spending most of his career at Dean Witter Reynolds and PaineWebber & Co. before retiring in the early 1990s.
He loved commuting on the early train from the Upper Montclair station, working in downtown Manhattan and his standing lunch on Fridays with friends at Harry’s at Hanover Square.
He always made time for his family, attending his children’s sports and school activities, and many parent weekends at numerous colleges.
Growing up in Montclair, Mr. O’Brien spent many hours playing basketball at the YMCA, where he forged lifelong friendships. He was also a diehard fan of the New York football Giants, the Jersey Shore and peach ice cream, especially from Applegate’s.
He was an avid reader of several daily newspapers until the very end, but also adapted to checking stock prices and checking in with his family on his iPhone. He was practical and modest, and set a strong example of integrity and faith for his extended family.
He and his wife, Milly, treasured warm and close relationships with their siblings. In retirement, they were fortunate to enjoy many years together traveling, spending time with their children and grandchildren, playing tennis at Glen Ridge Country Club and supporting their church and community in many ways.
They were active members of St. Cassian parish and appreciated the strong community of friendship and support it provided over the decades.
Embracing so many of the qualities of the Greatest Generation, he lived a resilient life, filled with dedication to his family, his faith and his community. After 54 years, Dryden Road in Montclair won’t be the same without Mr. O’Brien, who will be sorely missed by his loving family.
He is survived by his seven children, Elizabeth (Robert Flanagan) of Bethesda, Maryland, Walter P. O’Brien Jr. (Linda Jaye Molee) of Freehold, Gerard (Melinda) of Easton, Connecticut, Sheila (Peter Flanagan) of Chevy Chase, Maryland, Paul (Mary) of Madison, Marie Seton of Manhattan and Sarah (Jeff Boyd) of Wilmette, Illinois; 17 grandchildren; one great-grandson; his brother, James (Peggie), and many nieces and nephews.
Mr. O’Brien was predeceased by his beloved wife of 62 years, Milly (Sharkey); his sister, Rosemary McCormack, and his brother, Alfred.
Visitation is at Hugh M. Moriarty Funeral Home, 76 Park St., from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 21. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday, Jan. 22, at 10 a.m. at St. Cassian Catholic Church, 187 Bellevue Ave. For online condolences, please visit moriartyfh.com.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to St. Cassian Catholic Church or the Alzheimer’s Association (in honor of Milly O’Brien).