We Remember

O’BRIEN, Dr. Edward George

May 14, 1927 — February 12, 2016

Edward George was born on May 14, 1927, in Montreal, the first born of Edward George (Chaffey’s Lock, Ont.) and Caroline Evelyn (Lucas) O’Brien (Smith Falls, Ont.). He was baptized at Ascension Church.  He attended St. Leo’s Catholic School, Loyola and McGill, graduating as a doctor of medicine in 1952.   As a young man in the summers he worked for the CPR both on the track gang and in the dining car, giving him the opportunity to travel.  During the summers from 1944 to 1951 Ed was in the C.O.T.C. officers training, at first in artillery and then in the Medical Corps.  In 1951 he worked in the Whitehorse Military Hospital and there in the Yukon developed his life-long passion for fly fishing.  Having seen the Rockies in 1943 and again in 1951 he decided that one day he would live in British Columbia. He met the love of his life, Anita Shirley McKenna, while attending McGill through the Newman Center in 1950. They were married in Notre Dame de Portage on June 12, 1953 and settled in Montreal where Ed was chief surgical resident at St. Mary’s hospital.  Their first born, Evelyn Elizabeth (June 6, 1954), was soon followed by Heather Catherine (September 27, 1955).  Ed and Anita moved with their young family to Bristol, England for a year (1956/57) where Ed completed advanced surgical training.  Upon their return to Montreal, Ed joined the staff of St. Mary’s.  Edward George III was born April 23, 1958, Jennifer Ann on November 14, 1960 and Thomas Patrick on February 11, 1964.   Ed’s interest in living in the west, led Ed to take the American Board Examinations in Surgery in considering a position in California in 1964, but ultimately decided on a move to Vernon B.C. in January 1966 for an opening at a clinic that a friend from medical school encouraged him to apply for. Ed, Anita and their growing family enjoyed a wonderful life in Vernon living on Kalamalka Lake with many summer visits from extended family and friends. David Sean was born March 16, 1970.  In 1973, Ed moved the family to Fredericton, NB for a year when Ed worked as a medical advisor to the New Brunswick Government.  Ed quickly determined to move back west, realizing that fellowship with medical colleagues and being a surgeon was his true vocation.  He resumed active practice in Salmon Arm, BC in the spring of 1974.  Ed decided to stop doing operative surgery in 1987 and Ed and Anita with David still at home, moved to Richmond BC where Ed worked for two years with the Workers Compensation Board.  Ed and Anita retired to Tappen in 1989 and enjoyed 10 great years, living by the lake, traveling, fishing, hiking and camping with many family and friends gathering.  In 1999 Ed and Anita decided to move to Kelowna to be near Heather and her family and to have closer access to medical facilities and the airport that enabled ease in traveling near and far. Ed and Anita quickly developed friendships through the Newcomers Club, St. Charles Garnier Catholic Church, playing bridge and being involved with the local fishing group. Ed devoted 5 years caring for Anita during her gradual decline.  Anita passed away on October 29, 2011.  Her absence in his life remained a deep sadness throughout his final years living at Hawthorne Park, enjoying friends and the support of Heather and family.  Highlights from his final year include travel to his son David’s wedding in Carmel CA and the birth of 2 great grandchildren. Throughout Ed’s life, his interest in sport led to involvement in and enthusiastic support of his children and grandchildren in skiing, minor hockey, tennis, swimming, lacrosse and volleyball exploits. Ed’s interest in fishing encouraged him to join local conservation efforts to restore fish habitats.  Ed and Anita were involved in the Alpine Club of Canada, enjoying many hikes in the mountains throughout BC.  Ed was also an avid reader.  Ed’s passion for family, fishing, classical music, friends, food (including raw onion sandwiches with butter!) and travel enriched his life. Ed passed away peacefully at the Kelowna Hospice House on February 12, 2016 at the age of 88 years.  He is survived by his loving family: 6 children, Evelyn, Heather, Ed, Jennifer, Tom, and David; 15 grandchildren; 2 great grandchildren; and 3 sisters, Eileen, Hazel, and Margie.  Dr. O’Brien is predeceased by his loving wife Anita of 57 years, and 2 brothers, Kevin and Eric.  A Celebration of Ed’s life will be held at St. Charles Garnier Roman Catholic Church in June, final date and time to be announced.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Trout Unlimited, http://www.tucanada.org. For those wishing to send a condolence, photos or share memories, may do so by scrolling down this page to the area called “Share Your Condolences.”

St Charles Garnier Catholic Church on June 18th at 11 a.m. with refreshments to follow in the church hall. For Montrealers, there will be a Memorial on the following weekend

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Trout Unlimited Link: http://www.tucanada.org


Service Information

Service Details

The service for O’BRIEN, Dr. Edward George is scheduled for St Charles Garnier Catholic Church on June 18th at 11 a.m. with refreshments to follow in the church hall. For Montrealers, there will be a Memorial on the following weekend. Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.

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  • Lorraine Hirning says:

    Ed: Father, grandfather, brother and a friend to all. Also a good bridge player. Ed’s caring attitude and inclusiveness helped make the world a better place. You should be very proud. I hope to attend a celebration of his life in June if it does not conflict with the annual regional bridge tournament.

    Ed was a special person. He is gone but not forgotten

  • Evelyn Buckler (née O'Brien) says:

    So many good memories. Thanks, Dad.

  • Roberto Cavalcanti says:

    Uncle Eddie, fond recollections of you and family in Montreal, BC and Brazil. A picture from the Rockies in 1979.

  • Lil and Jim Barr says:

    To the O’Brien Family,
    Both of us worked with Ed in the Medical Clinic and Vernon Jubilee Hospital for many years. A very capable and talented general surgeon, always a gentleman, a pleasure to associate with both professionally and socially. Lil claims he was the best surgeon she ever had the pleasure of working with in the O.R. We also remember Anita as a lovely and gracious lady, and know her family misses her also. We send our sincere condolences to all.
    Sincerely, Lil and Jim Barr

  • John and Liz McGeough says:

    Our heartfelt sorrow for one of the finest gentleman you could ever meet. Always gentle, caring, interested in how you are, just a simply wonderful human being. His love of his wife showed no bounds and he was by her all the time, smiling, encouraging and such a wonderful example of how married couples should be. We met him at bridge and every time he came through the door he had a special smile. Truly he will be missed but now he is at peace in God’s hands and will meet again with the love of his life, Anita.

  • David Shearing says:

    We have wonderful memories of our many get-togethers with Ed during summers when we are in Kelowna. We always looked forward to breakfast with Ed on Sunday mornings which in time became almost a weekly occurrence and were great fun. Ed was a superb conversationalist given his varied interests, knowledge base, and his wealth of lifetime experiences. He was always unassuming, positive in outlook, enjoyed socializing, and was very courageous in the face of adversity and loss. Ed was blessed with an extensive and loving family and they provided much strength and happiness for him. He was very proud of all his family.
    We enjoyed his friendship immensely and will certainly miss his presence in our lives.
    Our condolences to the family.
    Elaine and Dave Shearing

  • Terry Jobe says:

    To The O” Brien family:
    I have known and worked with Ed over a period of fifty years…. It started when I was a young OR nurse in Montreal in the 60’s when he was a young “hot shot” surgeon (part of three with Drs Moralejo and Drake) …Man they could do anything and we all admired them for their their skills, common sense and bravado! I still have stories of them saving lives that we tell in our nursing get togethers that were one of a kind.
    To meet Ed again in Salmon Arm in the 70’s was a real treat….we worked very well together and spoke the same language. He was such a no nonsense kind of surgeon and carried out his procedures in a competent and skillful manner. His one liners and interest in all those he worked with were wonderful …you felt like part of the team.
    Anita was always so gracious with us and he loved her dearly. I was so touched when they came up to my retirement party.Once in a while we would talk on the phone (after Anita passed) and he always liked to reminice about St. Mary’s days and where all his associates ended up.
    David and our Rob hung out together during their high school years , he was always interested in what I knew so we could keep an eye on them! He loved his family so much and was so proud of you.
    So please accept our sincerest sympathy and know that he touched all our lives in so many ways and will be missed.
    Terry and Bob Jobe and family

  • Brian Patterson says:

    Eddie, you were a long way from your roots in Westmount, but we, your Eastern relatives, always thought of you as our gift to the West. You were a truly special and generous person. Sincere condolences to your family.

  • Catherine O'Brien Astle says:

    Eddie was the eldest of the many cousins who gathered at Grandmother’s house on Sunday mornings during the 1940s. He was always kind and helpful to us younger ones (I was seven years younger).
    My condolences go to his family.

  • Tony Patterson says:

    He had a good life I know, even though we hadn’t seen one another for many years. Growing up in Montreal Eddie was number one of dozens of cousins (first and second) who mostly went to the same schools (St. Leo’s, St. Paul’s, Loyola), church (Ascension), hospital (St. Mary’s). As the eldest, Eddie had a lot to teach, a facility he never lost. A few years ago, he enlightened me on the scramble his grandparents had to manage in order to get married since she was so young and Protestant and he was so much older and RC. Kate’s parents didn’t approve so they eloped. Eddie was the oldest grandchild. I was (am for a while) the oldest great-grandchild, eleven years younger. I looked up to him. Loved his sisters. Delighted in confounding his brother Eric, who was employed at times to watch my brother and I, who were, I’m told, difficult to handle. Apologies for all this reminiscence but if Eddie were here that’s what we’d be talking about.

  • Margaret and Bill Haberl says:

    Dear O’Brien Family,

    We are deeply saddened by Ed’s passing. Each of us, in our own way, have special memories of your father, and your mother of course, and all the times that they generously were part of our lives. Some of those times were in Montreal, and Expo 67 and Family Reunions, and crossing the country in the big CP Air L1011! Some of them were at Kalamalka Lake, and barbecues, and big gunny sacks full of corn from McGill’s, and Sunday Mass with everyone dressed up in summery togs, and Vancouver and Richmond when Ed was with the WCB, and their hospitality in Kelowna, on West Avenue and elsewhere: unforgettable parts of our lives. Lots of good memories of bridge games with Eddie and Anita over the years. Here he is, caught at a happy moment.
    Please know that we will not forget Uncle Eddie.

    Love from Bill, Margie, Susan, Sri, Rajesh, Kiran, Herb, Shelley, Maxine and Justin, Kelsey, Will, Jim (in absentia), Kevin, Vicki, Jaslyn and Chris, Connor, Pat, Gabi, Jessica, Samantha, Matthew, Mike, Ardyth, Ben, Kate, Joe, Sue and Sam.

  • Adriel Wilson says:

    Evelyn, Heather, Edward, Jennifer, Thomas, David and families,
    I am thinking of you all as you adjust to this huge change in your lives. As I read the tribute posted on your Dad, I was reminded of the get togethers and fun we had at both homes at Kalamalka Lake. Those were great years! Your parents were wonderful people.

  • Evelyn Buckler says:

    We wanted to say Thank-you to all the people who took time to write us condolences on this page. I hope you will see this addition. The Celebration of Ed O’Brien’s Life will be held at St Charles Garnier Catholic Church on June 18th at 11 a.m. with refreshments to follow in the church hall. For Montrealers, there will be a Memorial on the following weekend. Please contact Eileen DeNeeve for details. Thank-you again.
    Evelyn, Heather, Ed, Jen, Tom, Dave

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