DURHAM – Barbara O’Brien, age 72, died peacefully Sunday after a two-year battle with cancer. She was surrounded by her loving family at home. She was born to the late Carl and Louise Gilliam in Alexandria, VA.
While raising five children in Orange, CT, she and her husband John O’Brien owned and operated multiple restaurant franchises. In 1991, Barbara and John moved the family and made Chapel Hill, NC their home. Barbara became a dedicated employee at the University of North Carolina’s Friday Center, retiring in 2012 after over 20 years of service to the University. Barbara treasured time with family.
Barbara is survived by her beloved husband John of 49 years, sister Nancy Gilliam (Jim), her five children: John, Jr. (Sarah), Jennifer, Kevin (Monica), Timothy (DeWaal), Kristina Wilson (Wes), and her nine grandchildren: Connor, Avery, Claire, Coleman, Ryan, Jack, Madelyn, Dalena, and Hannah. Barbara loved her nieces and nephews Richard (Ling), Suzanne (Harry), Jeffrey (Snowden), and Karen (Brian).
Barbara was preceded in death by her mother, Louise Gilliam, father, Carl Gilliam, parents-in-law, Rosemary and Frank O’Brien and sister in-law, Margery Furman.
The family would like to extend a sincere thanks to all of the doctors and staff at Duke Cancer Center as well as Transitions Hospice for their compassionate care.
A funeral mass will be held at Holy Infant Catholic Church, Durham, NC on Thursday, January 31st, 2019 at 11 AM. A visitation will be held at Hall-Wynne Funeral Service, Durham, NC on Wednesday, January 30th, 2019 from 5-7 PM.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Transitions LifeCare of Wake County. 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607.
The O’Brien family is under the care of Hall-Wynne Funeral Service.