Kathleen Nancy (Thorpe) O’Brien, 73, of Longmeadow, MA passed away at home surrounded by her adoring family on November 16, 2021. Our beloved wife, mother, and Mimi was the heart of our family and our home, and we will miss her eternally.
Kathy was born on January 12, 1948 to the late Eileen and Frederick L. Thorpe in Springfield, MA. She attended Holy Family Grammar School and was a 1965 graduate of Cathedral High School. Kathy worked at Mass Mutual for 11 years before leaving to devote herself to raising a family—her life’s most meaningful work.
In April 1974, she met the love of her life, Joe O’Brien, at the Passionist Retreat House in West Springfield, and they were soon married on October 4, 1975. Joe and Kathy were those lucky ones to discover early on that faith, family, and a healthy sense of humor were the foundation of a life well-lived. They laid down roots in Longmeadow and raised four children. A dedicated communicant of St. Mary’s Church for nearly 40 years, Kathy had an unwavering faith that helped her navigate the ups and downs of life. After raising her children, she worked at Dow Jones in Chicopee, MA for 17 years until her retirement.
There was no one quite like our “Miss Kathleen.” Her deep and selfless love for her family was woven into everything she did. Whether she was guiding her daughters and daughter-in-law through the early days of motherhood, decorating the house for every holiday, or cheering on her children and her grandchildren from the sidelines, she poured her heart and soul into those she loved most. A woman who basked in the simple pleasures of life, she delighted in breakfast dates with her husband, stacking firewood, walking the beach in Ogunquit, hiking in the White Mountains, working in her garden, and most importantly spending time with her friends, family, and her five granddaughters, who all adored their Mimi. Her innate compassion towards others was one of her most beautiful qualities, and she enjoyed volunteering at the Gray House with her sister, Maureen for many years.
We will think of her always, but especially when we cuddle a newborn baby, bite into our first Macoun on a crisp fall day, raise a pint of Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day, light our first fire of the season, step onto the dance floor at a wedding, dig our toes into the sands of the Connecticut shore, hear American Pie on the radio, slip into our L.L. Bean flannels after a day on the slopes, deal a game of Pitch, catch the first snowflake of the winter, and when “those damn Sox” need a run in the bottom of the ninth.
Kathy is survived by her beloved husband of 46 years, Joseph O’Brien III, her four children, Megan Witwer (Todd), Joseph O’Brien IV (Molly Kenney), Sarah Bishop (Daniel), Rory O’Brien (Kelsey), her five adoring granddaughters, Mckenna Witwer, Casey Witwer, Grace Bishop, Hannah Bishop, and Maggie O’Brien, her sister Maureen DeRusha (Buzz), brothers Michael Thorpe (Maureen), Kevin Thorpe (Pat), Daniel Thorpe (Joanne), and innumerable nieces and nephews, in-laws, cousins, and dear friends.
Her family would like to thank her care teams at Massachusetts General Hospital, Baystate Medical Center, and Mercy Medical Center, especially Dr. Phil Glynn, and her beloved nurses Laura and Marisa at the Sister Caritas Cancer Center.
The viewing will take place on Sunday, November 21 from 10 am-1 pm at Forastiere Smith Funeral Home in East Longmeadow. The funeral mass will be held Monday, November 22 at 11 am at St. Mary’s Church in Longmeadow. Note there will be no funeral procession from the funeral home to the church. Mourners are asked to meet at the church. Burial will be at Longmeadow Cemetery. Masks are required at both the viewing and the funeral. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Kathleen’s name to The Gray House, 22 Sheldon Street, Springfield, MA 01107. For more information or to leave an online condolence, please visit www.forastiere.com