Marion's Story

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Marion Ann Molony O'Brien, widow of Lt. Col. Gilbert Mouzon O'Brien, USAF (Ret.), entered into eternal rest on Wednesday, May 3, 2017, at the age of 95.
The relatives and friends of Marion Molony O'Brien are invited to attend her Mass of Christian Burial on Monday at 11 a.m. at the Church of the Nativity, 1061 Folly Road, Charleston, S.C. The Rite of Committal will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 3 to 5 p.m. today at the James A. McAlister Funeral Home, 1620 Savannah Highway. The Rosary will be recited at 5 p.m.
Online condolences may be offered at www.CharlestonFunerals.com.
Marion was born on Aug. 24, 1921, in Charleston, S.C., a daughter of the late John Celestin Molony and Frances Igoe Deal Molony. She grew up on Savage Street in downtown Charleston and received her early education at the Academy of Our Lady of Mercy and Cathedral Grammar School. She graduated from Bishop England High School in 1938 and received an R.N. degree from Saint Francis Xavier School of Nursing in Charleston in 1941. Marion proudly and honorably served in the United States Army Nurse Corps as a first lieutenant during World War II from 1943 to 1945. She was stationed at Stark General Hospital in North Charleston and then served aboard the US Army Hospital Ship Larkspur. During her service on the Larkspur, she made seven trans-Atlantic trips to various ports in Europe caring for wounded servicemen as they returned home from the war.
In 1946 she married then Capt. O'Brien, a pilot in the United States Army Air Corps. Marion enjoyed a very active and busy life as a military wife and mother for more than 25 years while living on Air Force bases around the world, including Japan and Panama, and raising her eight children. When she returned to Charleston in 1968 after her husband's retirement, Marion was employed at Roper Hospital as a Registered Nurse for many years and then at Bon Secours Saint Francis Hospital Gift Shop until she retired at age 80. Marion was a devoted member of the Church of the Nativity Catholic Church on James Island, where she was a volunteer with Pastoral Care and a member of the Ladies' Guild and the Leisure Club. She was also a member of the Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy Associates. Marion was a charter member of the Women in Military Service for America Memorial, the World War II Memorial and the Friends of the Low Country Senior Center where she was a volunteer. She was also a member of the Military Officers' Association of America, the Irish Historical Society and the Saint Francis Xavier Hospital Alumnae Association.
At age 88, Marion proudly participated in Honor Flight Lowcountry, a day flight to Washington, D.C., honoring World War II veterans.
In addition to her parents and her husband, Marion was predeceased by her sister, Frances Deal Molony; and her four brothers, John Celestin Molony Jr., the Rev. Charles John Molony, Raymond Deal Molony and William Irvin Molony.
Marion is survived by three daughters and five sons and their families, Frances O'Brien Sheley and husband Lt. Col. William H. Sheley, USAF (Ret.), Patricia O'Brien-Dorner and husband, Albert E. Dorner; Karen O'Brien Duffy and husband, CWO4 Edward B. Duffy Jr. USMC (Ret.), Gilbert M. O'Brien Jr. and wife, Joy MacLean O'Brien, John J. O'Brien and wife, Cynthia Halter O'Brien, LCDR Timothy L. O'Brien, USNR (Ret.) and wife, Donna Bernardi O'Brien, Lt. Col. Charles E. O'Brien, USAF (Ret.) and wife, Fiona Eckert O'Brien and Samuel J. O'Brien and wife, Cynthia Hordusky O'Brien; 14 grandchildren, Caroline Scruggs, Catherine Scruggs McGann and husband, Ryan, Ellie O'Brien, John O'Brien Jr., Elizabeth O'Brien, Frances Duffy, Dr. Edward Duffy III and wife, Shelby, Kimberly O'Brien McElhaney and husband, Capt. Kyle McElhaney, USAF, Craig O'Brien, Christopher O'Brien, Colin O'Brien, Molly O'Brien, Emily O'Brien Grody and husband, Travis, Michael O'Brien; and three great-grandchildren, Josiah, Aedan and Mercy Cate McGann. Marion is also survived by two sisters, Harriet Molony Condon and Caroline Craig (CC) Molony Fralinger; as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and special friends. The family would like to extend special thanks to Marion's caregivers at Savannah Place on James Island and at Piedmont Hospice. Your loving care and many acts of kindness will never be forgotten by our family.
Memorials may be made to the Church of the Nativity, 1061 Folly Road, Charleston, SC 29412 or Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach, P.O. Box 607, Johns Island, SC 29457.
Arrangements are by James A. McAlister Funerals and Cremation, (843) 766-1365.
Published on May 6, 2017
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