October 31, 1939 - November 16, 2020
Margaret Sharon O'Brien California Native “It is the small everyday deed of ordinary folks that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.” Margaret Sharon O’Brien, 81, was an extraordinary woman who savored life. She was playful, creative, cheerful and curious. She often put the needs of others before her own and was always eager to help when asked. She passed away peacefully on November 16, 2020 with her family by her side. Sharon was born on October 31, 1939 in Bell, California. Halloween parties were an annual family birthday celebration, and Sharon loved scaring trick-or-treaters with a ghostly vacuum. Her vacuum was also known to suck up unlucky lizards and spiders that crawled indoors. Sharon grew up in Whittier, California, with parents Margaret and Alfred Simon (both deceased), brother Jerry (deceased) and sisters Marilyn, and Eileen. She married Thomas Daniel O’Brien (June 13, 1938 - March 24, 1995) on June 10, 1961 in Whitter and moved to Placentia, in Orange County, in 1972. They enjoyed hiking together, reading and their four children: Robin, Susan, Theresa and Thomas. Sharon loved her children and loved getting involved. She would drive all four kids to numerous music events for school band performances, parades, and practices. She was a Brownie and Girl Scout leader, a member of the PTA, and a soccer and softball coach. She was always ready for a game of cards, whether it was a quick hand before school or an afternoon on the patio after lunch. Being very family oriented with immediate and extended family, there were regular summer trips in the family station wagon to the beach and visiting Uncle David and Aunt Brigid O’Brien and their children in Northern California as well as other family visits. Sharon was strong. She survived being a widow at a young age. She survived open-heart surgery. She conquered breast cancer. With all the difficult struggles she powered on to experience even more of life and the world. Along with travelling around California and the US, she traveled to Europe. After taking classes on opera, she traveled to see it live in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Italy to attend Opera Festivals. She took on the challenge of learning Bridge and enjoyed meeting new people and playing weekly with her ‘Bridge Ladies’ with several groups across Placentia, Yorba Linda, Brea, and Anaheim Hills areas for many years. Filled with enthusiasm and enviable energy, Sharon spent much of her retired life with her grandchildren and volunteering. There were tea parties, baseball games and soccer games; there were so many trips to the mall, afternoon movies (1 child and 1 senior ticket), Yaki Tacos, and library visits. She gave her grandchildren a taste for curiosity and an unwavering source of love and comfort. Her grandchildren also became very acquainted with her interests and can now distinguish and name most local birds. Sharon was a member of the Orange County-Sea & Sage Audubon Society and was an avid birder. She volunteered at the beautiful San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary with various events and led some of the popular Annual Summer Bat Walks. She also helped to support/monitor Bluebird Nest Boxes across Orange County Parks, monitoring progress with bluebird nests to help increase their population. Her family affectionately called her the ‘Bird Lady of Placentia” as she took her daily walks around the lake at Tri-City Park and kept a notebook listing all the different types of birds she spotted each day. Additionally, she volunteered at the Orange County Zoo as a docent leading school field trip tours and weekly classes held for children at the Zoo. A favorite was playing Ms. Claus at Christmas for the kids. She had a love for animals and was always rescuing birds and small critters, mending them back to health and releasing them. Yes, she handled the snake, Rosy, held the alligator and helped with the Grizzly bear. In 2006, her family proudly watched her receive the commendation of Volunteer of the Year in Orange County for her many years of work with the Zoo. Sharon is survived by her children Robin and her husband Frank, Susan, Theresa, and Thomas and his wife Barbara; her grandchildren Joseph, Amber and Zachary; and her dogs Honey and Sugar, along with grand-dogs Blue and Terry. Hers was a life well lived, full of acts of love and kindness. Services for Sharon will be held at Memory Garden Memorial Park & Mortuary, 455 West Central Avenue, Brea CA 92821 Tuesday, November 24, 2020. Limited private visitation will be held at 12:00 PM in the Memory Garden Chapel. Services will be immediately following outdoors. Graveside at 1:00 PM. Sharon will be laid to rest beside her late husband Dan.
Margaret Sharon O'Brien California Native “It is the small everyday deed of ordinary folks that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love.” Margaret Sharon O’Brien, 81, was an extraordinary woman who savored... View Obituary & Service Information
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Margaret Sharon O'Brien
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