Joyce  (Cooper) O'Brien

Joyce B. (Cooper) O'Brien

Saturday, May 27th, 1933 - Monday, April 15th, 2019
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Joyce (Cooper) O’Brien, 85, of Enfield, entered into eternal rest, on Monday April 15, 2019 in the comfort of her home with loved ones at her side. She was the beloved wife of 65 years to Donald F. O’Brien. Joyce was born on May 27, 1933 in Portland, Maine to the late Duncan A. and May (Robie) Cooper and resided in Enfield for 60 years. Prior to retiring she was employed as a secretary at JFK, Jr. High School, Enfield. Joyce loved to travel, reading, and enjoyed many a card game. The family would like to extend special thanks and gratitude to her special friend Sandy O’Brien, and for Kelly O’Brien’s selfless & caring dedication to Grammy in the end. Also additionally loved by Mike and Tina’s daughter Laura. She was a loving & caring wife, mother, grandmother and aunt whose heart was open to everyone. She had a lifelong joy of music including singing in the church choir. Joyce was a selfless soul cherished by many.
In addition to her beloved husband, Joyce is also survived by two sons, Michael and Tina O’Brien of West Springfield, MA and Daniel and Annemarie O’Brien of Windsor, CT, her loving grandchildren, Molly O’Brien, and Shane & Kelly O’Brien, along with many nieces, nephews and cousins. Besides her parents, she was also predeceased by a daughter Cynthia O’Brien and two sisters Frances Thompson and Margaret Dean Huestis.
Relatives and friends may gather with her family on Thursday April 18, 2019 from 11:00 am until 2:00 pm, followed by a Memorial Service with Pastor Barry Andrusik officiating at Browne Memorial Chapels, Enfield. Interment will be at the convenience of the family in St. Patrick’s King St. Cemetery, Enfield. Memorial donations in her memory may be made to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital 501 St. Jude Place Memphis, TN 38105-9959.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, April 18th, 2019 | 11:00am - 2:00pm
    Thursday, April 18th, 2019 11:00am - 2:00pm
    Browne Memorial Funeral Chapels
    43 Shaker Road
    ENFIELD, CT 06082
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Thursday, April 18th, 2019 | 2:00pm
    Thursday, April 18th, 2019 2:00pm
    Browne Memorial Funeral Chapels
    43 Shaker Road
    ENFIELD, CT 06082
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Pastor Barry Andrusik
  • Interment

    St Patrick's King St Cemetery
    King Street
    ENFIELD, CT 06082
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    At the convenience of the family.


Donations are being accepted for: St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.


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Private Condolence
Bernie & Holgate Dean and The Kopsak, Bartos and Pryzchodzen Families sent flowers to the family of Joyce B. (Cooper) O'Brien.
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T. Kelly

Posted at 10:02am
My deepest sympathy for your loss. May you find comfort in Jehovah God’s promise to soon end all our suffering and swallow up death forever (Revelation 21:3-5; Isaiah 25:8). Peace to you during this difficult time.

Andy (niece)

Posted at 02:57pm
The summer of 1967

It was the summer of 1967 and I was to spend a week visiting my cousins Mike Dan and Cindy on 10 Frew Terrace in Enfield CT
I remember taking Cindy to the parks and rec depart every day for activities. On the last day there was the prettiest doll contest so a neighbor Brenda who lived up Frew Terrace a bit let me pick out any doll from her collection. I knew I picked a beauty! Cindy and I proudly presented our dolls at the contest. I knew straight up the doll I had was much prettier than Cindy’s which was similar to a raggedy Anne type doll, I think it was like a Misses Beasley doll or something like that but it was her favorite and she loved it!. Well low and behold I won the prettiest doll contest. Feeling bad for Cindy for about a Nano second I proudly pranced around with that doll for the entire day. Cindy held tight to her raggedy doll. We returned back to Frew Terrace with my prize which 100 popsicle sticks, glue and directions to make a basket. Sadly, I had to return the doll back to its rightful owner Brenda while Cindy held tight to her raggedy doll smiling that she could keep hers! I had such a fun week on Frew Terrace that summer in 1967 week helping Aunt Joyce make “sneakers”. Yes, sneakers they were her signature dessert. Choc chip cookie dough spread into a square pan and then at the last Five mins you add a few more choc chips an swirl the mix! They were delicious!
The story goes they were called sneakers because AJ worked at a shoe store in Scitico and when storing the cookie bars for picnic she put them in a sneaker box and people began saying pass the sneakers.

I remember leaving that week and saying to my mom in the car on my way home how much fun I had and wished I wished I lived there.

Well, little did I know that two short years later when I was in 8th grade my wish was about to come true. And as that expression goes…… Be careful what you wish for!

Mental health issues with my Mom resulted in a life changing event for my sisters and brothers. My two brothers went to Florida to live with our Dad and my two older sisters and I went to 10 Frew Terrace. My lil half sister Robie went to her father’s home to live. My Aunt Joyce and Uncle Bud opened their home and hearts during that time and I’m sure it had to be a complete lapse of judgement on their part. But they took 3 teenage girls into their home and that’s were we now were to live.

Well, we arrived like storm troopers in the night . I was not pleased to leave my home in Manchester at age14 years old and I suppose that’s when my internal tug of war began with my Aunt Joyce. Right from the beginning I was letting her know there was a new SHERIFF in town. ME!! . My rebellious teenage self-thought it best to join the Pearl St Gorlie Gang Girls. I liked those girls the moment I saw them and began wearing white lipstick, smoking cigarettes and learning how to be a bully. They accepted me and I was soon on my way to becoming “what I exactly I dont know” but I felt welcomed. One afternoon Cindy saw me smoking a cigarette and when I eventually returned home I was told by Aunt Joyce that I could not smoke until I was 16 . That was the rule. I felt compelled to punish that little squealer Cindy. So, I placed her in our bedroom closet that we shared for probably 20 minutes until she begged to be released and she succumbed to my rules. Yes, bullying and threatening others really does work!. Especially with a 7-year-old !!

Well, after a year or so hanging with my my Gorliey gang girls, multiple after school detentions and several trips to Enfield police Department I was informed that juvenile detention or reform school would likely be in my future unless I chose different friends and changed my ways . Didn’t help much that the school principle Mr Cerrato lived across the street on Frew Terrace.

So, with ultimatums from AJ, I decided to check out a different crowd of the girls from school who lived near the Elm Street area. AJ absolutely loved them immediately She especially liked my best friend to this day Marie. Aunt Joyce continued to ask about Marie throughout her lifetime. However, Marie simply remembers coming to Frew Terrace every Friday after school to help me change 7 bed sheets before we could go out.
Another year went by and things were pretty darn good at the O’Brien’s. We went to Branford for vacations, went to Beckett in the Berkshire’s for summer outings, occasionally over to Scitico to see Uncle Ray, Aunt Sis and their kids. I even sold Avon with AJ’s help which gave me spending money. And amazingly I was even asked to babysit principle Cerritos kids now then
After time my 2 sisters Ginny and Deb had graduated highschool and moved out to start their lives. That summer/fall I was heading into my junior year. I wanted so desperately to be with my Mom. So, I informed AJ I was leaving that summer. She asked me to reconsider, but I was determined. In hindsight I didn’t handle this move very maturely but a 16 old wants what they want and I wanted to be with my mom

It didn’t take me long to figure out that I had just left the only home in my short 16 years of life that I had ever truly known a safe secure environment. Its sounds so basic but having a loving home, laughter and no drama is special and comforting. And the Obrien’s provided that for sure.
I want to sincerely thank Aunt Joyce and Uncle Bud and my cousins for their generosity and toleration of this disruption in their lives.

Especially Aunt Joyce because we all know she was the boss and if she had said absolutely no way back on that dreadful March day .... I can only imagine how my life and my sisters would have turned out.

So farewell AJ wrap your daughter in your arms and know that you were more important to me than I could have even realized at 14. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

My love Andy

Dan O’Brien

Posted at 02:24pm
Joyce O’Brien Memorial
I would like to thank everyone for coming and paying their respects today. My name is Dan O’Brien, and I am son number two, the second of three children. We lost our sister Cindy a while back, and may she continue to rest in peace. Joyce may now be free to join her. Mike is the eldest and I was the one (stuck?) in the middle.
I would like to share a few thoughts about my mother.
I like to think I got some of my better qualities from my mother (sorry dad - and I said some not all).
The TRUE gifts that she bestowed upon me. Traits like courage. Like the courage she showed in dealing with her pain for so many years. The courage, and fighting (in her own way) including right up to the end.
Qualities like compassion. Not a token regard for other people, but true compassion for others, their choices, and their feelings.
Gifts like dedication. Ultimately she was dedicated to her husband – although Bud didn’t always see it that way. But 65 years of marriage, it cannot be believed by many in this day and age, and it’s remarkable dedication - as well as a tribute to perseverance and love.
But mom was also dedicated to her family, and her extended family. She was always available to open not only her heart, but her home - to help in any way. Some of the cousins, relatives, grandchildren and friends here today can attest to that kindness and dedication.
Another quality was she let me know (in no uncertain terms) that I had to EARN things. She never let me “just win” at any contest, and man did I used to cause a fuss about that! But it taught me that nothing was given to you, you had to earn it. And anyone who has played cards with Joyce knows that she was so good, you really had to try your utmost to prevail over her -and it was a well earned victory if you did- that is is you ever beat her. We used to go to one of her favorite places- Water’s Edge, and in unit 812 we had some epic battles at the card table. I think it took about 3 years before I finally was able to capture my pot of nickels in the infamous 80 cent game.
One thing about Joyce that most of you know is that she loved to travel. To paraphrase Mark Twain: “travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness”. And I think this was true of my mom, she had a broad view of the world, and of most things, not a narrow view. (I also think I know where my daughter Kelly got her travel bug from). A travel sidebar: no matter where my parents were coming from my mom always tried to get dad to somehow “stop at the casino on the way home”. Well let me just say that there were some long roundabout routes taken to get home sometimes!
Her life had many facets;
As a wife: 65 years of marriage
As a mother: she always worked a job when raising us, while still creating a true Home for us, making sure that we were provided for and taken care of. (Although this sometimes meant dinner plates of La Choi, and the occasional dreaded cube steak dinner- but we loved it all. - And it was certainly better than when she left Mike in charge of meals - and his famous “hot dog and bean ‘casserole’” - nobody knew there was such a thing!). Somehow we survived it all.
We survived all manner of relatives, friends, neighbors, co-workers, and other “assorted associates” coming and going, card games, cookouts, power outages, and more. One thing that I understood was that our house was a HOME, and the door was always open to anyone who needed it. Dad and mom, thank you for what you did, and for helping us understand what love and caring meant to you.
As a grandmother, who loved Grammy more than her grandkids? Although she did get a little tired of Shane prodding her to keep moving, and even then, she took it in good faith it was intended.
As an Aunt: A Testament is people coming from across the country to pay their respects today.
As a mother-in-law: I know my wife Annemarie truly cherished her relationship with Joyce.
My opinion is that my dad was humorous and witty (Joyce would say corny), and my mom was clever. Time and again she would come out with clever, thoughtful and funny things to say. And I learned over time that I should listen to what she had to say.
Now don’t get me wrong, she had a sense of humor also, I mean she HAD to, as she raised 3 kids and was married to bud for 65 years!
But Joyce was also more than all these things, she was a beautiful person inside and out In her own right.
I would be remiss if I didn’t extend my gratitude to a few folks.
I would like to thank everyone who sacrificed so much in these last trying months. My Dad, my wife Annemarie, my brother Mike and his wife Tina, and Sandy - but especially Kelly, who was so brave and loving and caring right to the end. Mom felt your spirit Kel and your love. I know You gave me strength- and I am very grateful.
Rest In Peace now mom. I am grateful for all you did for me, and you are forever loved by all of us.
- Dan

Karen Dean

Posted at 09:30am
Rest in peace Aunt Joyce, thank you so much for all you and Uncle Buddy did for the Dean clan. Say hi to my mom, Cindy and Aunt Frannie too. God bless you see you when I get there. Love Richard (Mickey) Dean and wife Karen.

Dan O’Brien

Posted at 07:58pm
Rest In Peace mom. You now can be free of any pain and suffering. Thanks for being a terrific mother, and an even better person. I thank you for everything you did for me. And for your love and care you showed my family. Love you.

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