Sister Fay O'Brien

Sister Fay F. O'Brien

Friday, March 13th, 1931 - Saturday, August 17th, 2019
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Sister Fay F. O’Brien, (Sister Mary Patrice) age 88, a Sister of Mercy died unexpectedly on Saturday, August 17, 2019 in St. Mary Home, West Hartford. Born of the late George J. and Gertrude A. (Marenholtz) O’Brien and raised in Hartford, Sister Fay entered the convent on September 8,1950 and made her vows on June 29, 1953. She earned her B.A .degree in Education from Diocesan Sisters College and an M.A. degree in Experimental Psychology from Fordham University. While teaching, she continued advanced studies at Boston College and Teachers College Columbia University, during summer recesses. She devoted full time to earning a Ph.D in Supervision and Curriculum Development from UConn in 1974. Sister Fay returned to the faculty of St. Joseph College, now University of St. Joseph. She became Director of the School for Young Children and had profound influence on the growth and development of that training school. Nursery school children, ages three to five found her to be skilled, kind, patient and understanding while expecting them to be mature for their ages. Her undergraduate students experienced those same traits of that preeminent early childhood educator as their tough and tender Associate Professor. Sister Fay never apologized for high standards. She willingly accepted many and varied responsibilities as a Sister of Mercy, sometimes juggling more than one responsibility on campus or for her Mercy community. She was elected into leadership as general councilor of the Connecticut Sisters of Mercy. She was sought out as an educational consultant in the field of Child Study. She taught at USJ for 36 years, was named a trustee of its board and trustee emerita in 2013.Sister Fay was the recipient of several awards both personal and academic. She found time to enjoy travel with friends, in particular one special trip to Alaska. Predeceased by her parents, she is survived by her brother, G. Robert and wife Mary O’Brien, her nephews and spouses, Bob and K.C., Tom and Tracie, Jim and Julia, Michael and Jenn O’Brien. Auntie Fay loved her 5 grandnephews and 7 grandnieces especially her namesake Caroline Fay who prematurely died of cancer at age 11. Her Mercy sisters for 69 years deeply grieve Sister Fay’s loss, especially Sisters Mary Daly, Jean Holehouse and Louise Kelly. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday Aug. 22 at 1:00 p.m. in St Mary Home Chapel preceded by calling hours beginning at 11:00. Burial will follow the Mass and take place in St. Mary cemetery. Those wishing to make a gift in Sister Fay’s memory are asked to consider Sisters of Mercy 25 Prescott St. West Hartford, CT 06110. Sheehan-Hilborn-Breen Funeral Home has care of the arrangements
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, August 22nd, 2019 | 11:00am - 1:00pm
    Thursday, August 22nd, 2019 11:00am - 1:00pm
    St. Mary Home
    2021 Albany Avenue
    West Hartford, CT 06117
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Thursday, August 22nd, 2019 | 1:00pm
    Thursday, August 22nd, 2019 1:00pm
    St. Mary Home
    2021 Albany Avenue
    West Hartford, CT 06117
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    St. Mary Cemetery Sisters of Mercy
    Albany Avenue
    West Hartford, CT 06117
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Joan M Kelly

Posted at 03:30pm
Heartfelt condolences to the family and to the Sisters of Mercy on the death of the beloved Sister Fay O'Brien. Sister Mary Patrice as she was known at the time was my faculty advisor during my freshman year at Saint Joseph College (1967-1968). A somewhat timid freshman I was put at ease by the warmth and kindness of Sister Mary Patrice. I was also fortunate to have her for a professor for several classes in the ensuing years.
Sister Fay O'Brien was a star in her field and her wisdom and guidance contributed to the stellar reputation enjoyed today by the School for Young Children.
Well done, good and faithful servant. Requiescat In Pace, dear Sister Fay O'Brien.
Dr. Joan M. Kelly
Westport, Connecticut
Saint Joseph College, Class of 1971

Virginia O’Brien

Posted at 05:02pm
I was shocked and sad to hear of Sister Fay’s sudden death! I am at my home in Rhode Island and unable to be at the Service. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Bob and Mary and your family! I will miss her at St Mary’s and our friendly chats! Sincerely, Ginny O’Brien

Shannon K. Mazurick

Posted at 03:43pm
Sister Fay was one of my first year professors in college and was a wonderful, kind-hearted person! I will miss her as I'm sure many other people will miss her too!

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