James Patrick O’Brien 1962-2010

James was a 1980 Classical High School graduate and a long time teacher at Roger L. Putnam Vocational Technical High School of Springfield. Prior to teaching, James along with his brother was part of many winning auto road racing teams traveling to tracks all over the country.

He had a love of the wilderness, the seasons and was a passionate and sharing recreational outdoorsman. His passion of the outdoors was not kept to himself. He shared his experience with students and adults alike and opened many eyes to another world which brought balance to life skills, promoted character strength and self esteem. Blending vocational achievements with fun, James and fellow teacher Dan Meehan, organized the Putnam Outdoor Adventure club. James was an active poster and communicator with fellow paddlers and was known as ‘obboats’ on the Northeast Paddlers (www.npmb.com). Yearly he ran safety on the river at the Westfield Festival
James also made time for a daily yoga practice.

James Patrick was born in Springfield, to Edward M. O’Brien Sr and the late Josephine (Bertelli) O’Brien of Springfield. He leaves a brother Edward M. O’Brien Jr of Montgomery and a sister Joan M. O’Brien of Ct

A memorial service inviting family, friends, paddlers, colleagues, and students to share in the celebration of his life will be on Saturday, March 20, 2010 at 10:30 by the brook near the Aquatic Gardens at Springfield, Forest Park.

Donations may be made to the James P. O’Brien Teaching & Outdoor Achievement Scholarship Fund. c/o United Bank 95 Elm St West Spfld 01089.


Jim O’Brien

A Teacher, a Friend, an Ambassador and a Pioneer.

Jim wore many hats and he lived life large. Constantly looking for the next adventure while dragging all of us along to learn with him. We are all better human beings because he was a part of our lives. His passion was infectious and we all caught it in one way, shape or form. In his memory we must all live our lives with Jim’s passion.

Through this memorial page we will all remember Jim. We will share stories, laugh and even cry, but most of all we will renew our passion for life through Jim’s memory. In all you do, share Jim’s zest for life, pass it on and teach it to others as Jim would. I will miss my dear friend and I hope somewhere and somehow we meet again. PEACE Jim!

Rob “Pumpkin Head” Larkham