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1948 Judy 2024

Judy Ann O'Brien

January 15, 1948 — July 7, 2024

Denver, CO

Judy Ann O’Brien, passed away July 7, 2024 in Denver, CO, at the age of 76 from complications which stemmed from the massive stroke she had in late October, 2022. Judy, the oldest of 7 children, was born in Hayes, Kansas on January 15, 1948 to William (Bill) and Armella Gerber and moved to Arvada when she was a child, and spent the rest of her life in Colorado.   

She was a devout Catholic, and as a young girl she aspired to become a nun and spent her first two years of high school in a convent in Wichita, KS (her daughters are eternally grateful she ultimately decided against that path), before coming back home to finish school at Holy Family.   

In 1969, Judy married John O’Brien, the love of her life. They raised two daughters, Jenifer (Jeni) and Jessica, and built an incredible life together until John’s passing just before their 39th wedding anniversary in 2008. Together they built their dream home (of 35 years) on the edge of a cliff in Morrison, which they habitually remodeled; and where they were known for hosting countless holiday parties, from which most of their friends and family had many stories to share. At least one involved many candles, and hair full of Aqua Net hair spray, and a mild fire. They lived an adventurous life together full of hard work, travel, camping, and most evenings, when they were done shuffling kids home from activities, usually ended with a stereo blaring a favorite record and an elaborate night cap together.   

Judy was very entrepreneurial and organized, working as a book keeper, office manager and business owner. When her daughters were teens, she was part owner of a skin care company, which was quite a perk for a couple of hormonal young girls, and, together with her husband and brother, completed her career as part owner of a franchise construction consulting company.   

Judy had a true zest for learning during her entire adult life. Judy’s brief tenure at Colorado State University ended when she was involved in a near fatal car accident at age 19, which derailed her higher education aspirations at that time. However, she valued learning and took classes all throughout her life. She studied graphology in the 1980s, took drawing classes, creative writing, wine tasting class, Chinese cooking classes, and more. Most impressively, she went back to school and finish her college degree in 2016 at age 68, when she graduated from University of Colorado Denver with a Psychology degree. At the time of her stoke, she was a student of the Denver Catholic Biblical School, a four year intensive study that is part of the Lay Division of Saint John Vianney Theological Seminary for the Archdiocese of Denver, and she was granted a certificate of completion. Not surprisingly, Judy was an avid reader, and a founding member of the Willowbrook book club, close to 40 years ago.   

Judy’s most prized role was that of grandmother to her three granddaughters, who called her Yaya. She delighted in baking themed and often elaborate birthday cakes for each of the girls when they were young, attended their school events, as well as encouraged them to learn to garden and bake with her. She once made 26 tiny satin costumes for Jordyn’s 1st grade Chinese New Year performance. She was a welcomed guest on many of her daughter’s planned vacations, and was a great sport about being crammed into the backseat with the kids, watching countless episodes of Tom and Jerry cartoons. In addition to taking classes and being an involved grandmother, she was active with her church, Risen Christ Catholic Parish, she walked 3 miles most weekdays, and enjoyed spending time with her many friends and family. Judy will be greatly missed but the love she shared will continue to live on in our hearts and memories forever.  

Judy is survived by her daughter Jeni O’Brien, her daughter and son-in-law Jessica & Jeff Whitney, granddaughters Joella, Jordyn and Jaycee Whitney, her mother Armella Gerber, sister Joanie (Kit) Hunter, sister Janet (Thomas) Loux, sister Ruthie (Seth) Cox, brother William (Lynn) Gerber, brother Joe (Julie) Gerber, along with many beloved nieces and nephews. Judy is now reunited in heaven with her husband, John O’Brien, her sister Karen Gerber and her father William Gerber Sr.  

As an alternative to flowers, consider a memorial contributions in Judy’s name to to Risen Christ Catholic Parish.  

 Viewing & Rosary:  Tuesday July 16, 2024; viewing 4:30 - 5:30, Rosary 5:30pm  Horan & McConaty Funeral Home, 1091 S. Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80246 HoranCares.com.  

 Funeral Mass: Wednesday, July 17, 2024 at 10:00am Risen Christ Catholic Church 3060 S Monaco Parkway, Denver, CO 80222. Funeral mass followed by a brief reception prior to the burial at Fort Logan.   

Burial: Wednesday, July 17, 20204 at 1:00pm Fort Logan National Cemetery, 4400 W. Kenyon Avenue, Denver, CO 80236 

To send flowers to the family in memory of Judy Ann O'Brien, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

4:30 - 5:30 pm (Mountain (no DST) time)

Horan & McConaty Funeral Service and Cremation

1091 S Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80246

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Recitation of the Rosary

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

5:30 - 6:30 pm (Mountain (no DST) time)

Horan & McConaty Funeral Service and Cremation

1091 S Colorado Blvd, Denver, CO 80246

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Mass

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Mountain (no DST) time)

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Graveside Service

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

1:00 - 1:30 pm (Mountain (no DST) time)

Fort Logan National Cemetery

4400 West Kenyon Avenue, Denver, 80236

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