Obituary of Kenneth O'Brien
~~Kenneth F. O’Brien was born in Brooklyn on February 25, 1945 to Mary E. (McGloin) and Thomas F. O’Brien, Jr. He was a first birthday surprise for his brother, Donald. Ken spent his early years in Elmhurst. Then, in 1954, Tom moved his family, which now included a younger brother, Richard, to Manhasset. The primary motivation for the move was the quality of education provided by the St. Mary’s Schools.
Ken graduated from St. Mary’s Elementary School in 1958, attended St. Mary’s High School for three years, and graduated from Manhasset High School in 1962. Immediately after graduation, Ken entered the Chase Manhattan Bank Training Program and remained with the company for more than 15 years. During this time, he received his undergraduate degree in Finance from New York University and his MBA from Pace University.
Ken discovered that his real passion was in teaching business rather than in being involved in the world of business. This was especially significant since his Mother, whom he loved dearly, had also taught on Long Island. He carved a new career in the SUNY system and taught at SUNY Farmingdale for over 33 years. He loved everything about the college life, his students, and the faculty and considered it his responsibility to provide students with a strong foundation for their future careers. He worked closely with publishers to edit college business textbooks. He was still teaching until April when his illness forced him to take a leave of absence.
Ken had a tremendous love for the outdoors, starting at a very young age with his first bow and arrows set. He enjoyed fishing and hunting and spent a great deal of time in his favorite mountain setting in the Catskills. He preferred exploring the wonders of New York State to traveling the country or the world. He settled in Manorville which provided a country atmosphere and access to his favorite ocean and beaches. Until just a few years ago, he spent his summers as an ocean lifeguard. He could also often be found at a gym, in a pool, or on the basketball court.
Every year he joined his car-loving friends for a trip to Watkins Glen to enjoy the races. He owned several sports cars and had a small collection of rare models of Audi automobiles. He was an avid book reader and kept current by reading several daily newspapers.
Ken passed away at St. Francis Hospital on May 10, 2017. He is survived by his two brothers, Donald of Manhasset and Richard of Olathe, Kansas, their wives, Patricia and Barbara, two nieces and two nephews, and their six children. He was blessed to have many good friends through the years and received strong support during his illness. Ken found strength in his independence and truly enjoyed pursuing his career and personal interests.