Joseph A. O’Brien
(Daddy, Pops, Joe)
1935 – 2022
Joseph Aloysius O’Brien, of Fort Myers, Fl., passed away peacefully, surrounded by his adoring family at the age of 86 on July 5, 2022.
Growing up in Passaic, NJ, and summering on the shores of New Jersey and Cape Cod, Joe’s love of the ocean was cultivated. Born a scholar, if he wasn’t boating then you’d surely find him ferociously reading. Combining his love of art and the water, it was no surprise his college journey would first take him to the Maritime College in New York.
Joseph’s education included a B.S./M.S. from SUNY (State University of New York) Maritime College (Fort Schuyler), Art Student League of New York, Design; A.A. Media Arts, School of Visual Arts, New York; Synectics – Van Leer Institute, The Netherlands.
His career began on Madison Avenue, as one of New York’s first official “Mad Men,” and it had included stops in Boston, Connecticut, Providence, North Carolina, the Netherlands, and Florida.
Joe served as a top consultant to The University of Massachusetts Medical Center, Rhode Island School of Design, Urban Observatory/Brown University,22 and Rhode Island hospital. He has been published in Advertising Techniques, Art Direction, Graphic Design, Ad East, Print, and Adweek to name a few.
His awards have been numerous with those of top distinction as follows: Art Directors Club of NY; Best of Show – Boston Ad Club (Hatch); 7 Silver Bowls – Boston Ad Club (Hatch); Society of Illustrators – NY; Gold Medal – Boston Art Directors Club; Gold Medal – Fairfield County Ad Club; 4 Gold Medals – Providence Art Directors Club, Gold Medal – Direct Mail S&MM, NY; Presidential Medal – Providence Art Directors Club; Creativity 6,7, & 9, NY; Print – Top Annual Reports in the USA; International Annual Report Competition; US Bicentennial Medal Design Competition; Addy Awards – New York.
Joseph had also held academic positions as Adjunct Professor for The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale and Florida Atlantic University.
Upon retirement, Joe used his time and talents to benefit a North Carolina Community Outreach Organization, Project Uplift, and practiced Art Therapy for those suffering fom dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Through classrooms and his expressions of art, Joe taught the delicacy of life and the value of love. His gentle nature, playful attitude, and kind ways enforced his philosophy, that “humor is the direct extension of love!”
Despite all his roles, the one most deserving of an award was Joseph’s love of family. He was such a devoted husband, father, brother, and son. To be loved by him was an honor!
He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph A. O’Brien, Sr. and Evelyn V. O’Brien formerly of Summit, NJ.
Joe is survived by his wife, Edwynna C. O’Brien; children: Katherine (Joseph) Wirth, Erin (David Charette) O’Brien, Patrick (Dorota) O’Brien, Colleen (Zane) Stoneman; his grandchildren: Ashley (William) Weeks, Patrick Wirth, Katie O’Brien, Zane Paul Stoneman, Zoey Katherine Stoneman, Sonie Zilian, Alex Zilian; great-grandchildren: Matthew Weeks, Mackenzie Weeks, Molly Weeks; Two siblings, Rosann Paone (John, Esq.) of Rumson, NJ and Mark J. O’Brien of Summit, NJ.
He also leaves behind cousins, nieces, nephews, and numerous friends from around the world.
A celebration of life will follow in August 2022.