Obituary for Sister Kay O'Brien, O.P.
Sister Kay O'Brien OP (Mary Annunciata) died peacefully in Tulare, California following a brief illness. She was 76 and a member of the Dominican Sisters of Tacoma, Washington. Sister Kay was born September 10, 1933 in Limerick Ireland to John and Mary O'Brien and Mary Lysaght-O'Brien. She attended Monaleen for her primary education and Presentation Convent School for her secondary education.
She entered the Dominican Postulate in Crosshaven Ireland on September 24, 1954 and in March of 1955 she and her companions traveled to the Dominican Novitiate in Tacoma Washington. She received the Dominican habit in 1955. She received her Bachelors' Degree from Seattle University, and her Masters' Degree in Educational Administration from Loyola Marymount in Los Angeles in 1969.
Following profession, Sister Kay taught at Holy Cross School, Tacoma (1955-1956), Holy Rosary School in West Seattle (1956-62), St. Paul's School, Yakima (1962-63), Aquinas Academy, Tacoma (1963-64), and in Bellingham, WA (1964-65). She returned to her native Ireland in 1965 to assume the role of Director Mistress of Postulants at St. Agnes Postulate Crosshaven, County Cork. She served in this position for two years. In 1967 she returned to the United States to teach at Garces Memorial High School in Bakersfield, CA. From 1971 - 1978 she served as the principal of Garces. From 1978-1980 she was the principal of St. Ann's in Ridgecrest, CA.
In 2005 Sister Kay celebrated her 50th anniversary of religious profession with festivities in both Tacoma and in Tulare.
In 1980 Sister Kay moved to St. Aloysius Parish in Tulare, CA. She served as parish visitor until 1985. In that year she became principal of St. Aloysius School, a position she held until her retirement in 2007. Sister Kay was a Tacoma Dominican presence in Tulare for over 28 years and her presence is sorely missed.
Throughout her life Sister Kay was accompanied by a dog. First Fiddler, than Saoirse (freedom in Gaelic), Shannon and finally Bailey who kept close watch over her during her illness.
Sister Kay was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Thomas and Anthony, her Auntie B (Bridget Griffin) also known as Mam who was a second mother and best friend to Sister Kay, and numerous aunts and uncles.
She is survived by many cousins in Ireland who have picked up the role assumed by her aunts and uncles before their deaths. Today their children and their children's children have taken over the privilege of loving and caring for her.. So from brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, first cousins and their children, even into a third generation, and all the other members of the family whose lives she has touched we will remember her for all times. She is also survived by members of her Tacoma Dominican Community and the members of her St. Aloysius Parish community.
Services for Sister Kay will be held in both Tulare and in Seattle/Tacoma.
In Tulare, Visitation will be on Thursday, February 11, 2010, 4:30 to 5:30 PM followed by the Rosary at 5:30 PM. Mass of the Resurrection will be on Friday, February 12, at 11:00 AM.. All services will be held at St. Aloysius Catholic Church, 125 East Pleasant Avenue, Tulare.
A Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated on Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 10:30 AM at Holy Rosary Church in West Seattle (4210 SW Genesee St. Seattle 98116). Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery in Tacoma at 3:00 PM on February 16.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Tacoma Dominican Retirement Fund, 935 Fawcett St., Tacoma, WA 98402 or to St. Aloysius School, 627 Beatrice, Tulare, CA 93274