James F. O’Brien
DOVER- James F. O’Brien, 83, a resident of West Dover and formerly of North Haledon and Wyckoff, NJ, died on Sunday, August 23, at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington, He was born May 5, 1937 in St. Joseph’s Hospital, Paterson, NJ, grew up in Wyckoff, NJ, attending Wyckoff public schools and graduating from Ramsey High School, and attended Villanova University on a swimming scholarship.
He married Virginia Steffan in 1962 and resided in North Haledon, NJ until moving permanently to West Dover in 1999. He was a veteran, having served in the NJ Army National Guard as an acting first sergeant in the 6th Tank Battalion.
Mr. O’Brien was a founding partner with his brothers of O’Brien Imports Inc. in 1958 and worked there until retirement in 1999. He was a sports car racing driver and an active member of SCCA, Scuderia X, USCCA. He was also a certified driving instructor for both the BMW Owners Club and the Ferrari Owners Club. He was a championship race car driver of both Alfa Romeo and Ferrari cars owned by the O’Brien Racing division of the O’Brien companies as well as driving for Ferrari and Alfa factory teams, winning many events. Mr. O’Brien was a member of Our Lady of Fatima Church where he was a eucharistic minister and usher, the Knights of Columbus, Unbound, and numerous other organizations.
Mr. O’Brien was an avid supporter of the Second Amendment, a life member of the NRA, a range safety officer, and a certified pistol personal protection instructor. He continued to instruct until his illness and death. He was also a founding partner of Firearms Training of New England and a member of Deerfield Valley Sportsmen’s Club.
He is survived by his wife Virginia Steffan O’Brien, brothers Thomas M. and Charles T. O’Brien, son Charles J. O’Brien; grandchildren Lonssa Castro and Megan and Kevin O’Brien; and daughter-in-law Nicole Remily. He was predeceased by his father Thomas F.F. in 1983, his mother Edeline Wansten O’Brien in 1989, sister Ann Mary in 1945, and son Thomas O’Brien in 1988.
Friends may gather at Our Lady of Fatima church, Wilmington, on Wednesday September 2, at 10 am for a 10:30 funeral Mass. Mr. O’Brien will be interred at a later date in the O’Brien family plot in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Totowa, NJ. To send the family personal condolences please visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com.
The family has entrusted arrangements to the care of Covey Allen & Shea Funeral Home, 44 East Main Street, Wilmington.