O’BRIEN, Amelia Gaines, wife of Frank A. O’Brien Sr., a resident of Welty Apartments, 1276 National Road, Wheeling, died Sunday, January 02, 2005 at 9 am, at home with all of her family at her bedside.
She was born in Ansley, Custer County, Nebraska on October 14th, 1919, the daughter of E.P. Gaines and Clara Varney Gaines. Following her early education in Nebraska Public Schools, she attended Duchesne College in Omaha, Nebraska from which institution she graduated in June, 1942. While in attendance at Duchesne College, she joined the Roman Catholic Church.
On June 1st, 1943, she was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, United States Marine Corps Woman’s Reserve, having on that date completed her basic training at Mount Holyoke College. Upon resigning her commission from the Marine Corps, she held the rank of First Lieutenant.
On December 27th, 1943, at St. Michael’s Church, then on Edgington Lane in Wheeling, she was united in marriage to Frank A. O’Brien Jr. Both the bride and groom wore their military uniforms during the ceremony. From that union, five children were born.
She was preceded in death by her parents, a sister Helen Langer, a brother Edgar Varney Gaines, by her daughter Brigid, at the age of 6, on January 2nd, 1956, and her son, Frank A. O’Brien III, First Lieutenant, United States Marine Corps Reserve, on March 24th, 1968, while in the service of his country in the Republic of Vietnam.
Surviving in addition to her husband, are three children, James P. O’Brien of Norfolk, VA, Mollie O’Brien Moore of Denver, CO, and Timothy P. O’Brien of Nashville, TN, the spouses of her children, eight grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Armed with a sharp wit and a generous heart, she was loved by those who knew her well and by those with whom she had only a passing acquaintance. She inspired many with her brave and well reasoned responses to life’s many trials. Fiercely proud of her Nebraska roots, she was also dedicated to Wheeling and its citizens and always strove to improve all with which she came into contact. Her personal and lasting involvement was widespread and included the Girl Scouts, the Boy Scouts, the Junior League of Wheeling, the Board of the Wheeling Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Governer’s Commission for Health in West Virginia, and as trustee of the Ohio County Public Library. She assisted in the foundation of the original Hospice program in Wheeling, instructing the volunteers of the program. The successor organization of that Hospice, Valley Hospice, attended her care at the time of her death.
Friends will be received by members of the family at Altmeyer Funeral Home, Kruger Street, Elm Grove from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 pm Monday, January 3rd, 2005, with a vigil service at 3:45 pm Monday afternoon. Funeral Liturgy with Mass will be celebrated at 10 am Tuesday, January 4th, 2005 at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 1225 National Road , Wheeling, with the Rev. Anthony Cincinnatti as celebrant.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice or to the charities she favored, the Frank A. O’Brien III Scholarship Fund at St. Mary’s University, the Brigid O’Brien Fund at the Foundation of the Ohio Valley, the Ohio County Public Library, or the Good Shepherd Nursing Home.
Frank A. O’Brien Scholarship Fund
St. Mary’s University
Emmitsburg, MD 21727-9989
Brigid O’Brien Fund at the Foundation of the Ohio Valley
Wheeling, WV 26003
Ohio County Public Library
52 16th Street
Wheeling WV 26003
Good Shepherd Nursing Home
159 Edgington Lane
Wheeling, WV 26003