Mary C. "Chris" O'Brien

  • Born: June 20, 1957
  • Died: November 20, 2015
  • Location: Marion, Iowa

Gay & Ciha Funeral and Cremation Service

2720 Muscatine Avenue
Iowa City, IA 52240
Tel. (319) 338-1132

Tribute & Message From The Family

Mary Christine "Chris" O'Brien, 58, died November 20, 2015.

Chris was born June 20, 1957, in Iowa City; daughter of Stephen "Ralph" and Wanda (Haney) O'Brien. She graduated from City High School in Iowa City and Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa and was employed at Pearson Vue.

Her family includes her sisters, Lyn Maske (Bob) of Iowa City, Kathie Crow (Bill) of Iowa City, Vicki O'Brien of Sun City, AZ and Amy O'Brien of Cedar Rapids as well as a special nephew, Jack O'Brien Ritchie and many other nieces and nephews. Chris's greatest joy was being with her family.

She was preceded in death by her parents; infant brother; David and brother, Steve O'Brien.

Following Chris's wishes, no public services will be held. Memorials in her memory may be made to the "Jack O'Brien Ritchie Education Fund," at Collins Community Credit Union in Cedar Rapids.

Condolence & Memory Journal

My heart is saddened to hear that Chris passed away. She was a beautiful soul. I met her when I visited the proposal dept. at Pearson. I shared her cubicle for a week. You know when you meet someone & you just click. That's how it was with Chris. I just loved her from the get go. She will be sorely missed. My condolences to her family, especially her much loved nephew Jack. She was just crazy about him.
The only consolation we have is in the promise of the resurrection. We will one day be reunited in a beautiful place called heaven.

Posted by Dorothea Warren - arden City, NY - Coworker   January 27, 2016

I loved working with Chris and sharing her creative spirit for the writing process. I am deeply grieved to hear of her passing and will keep the family in close prayer.

Posted by Lori Brown - Asheville, NC - Colleague at Pearson   December 16, 2015

Chris's sisters and Jack would like to thank everyone for their thoughts,
prayers, phone calls, cards and memories as we deal with her passing at
this difficult time.
Chris was proud of her Irish heritage:
May the Road Rise to meet you.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
the rain fall soft upon your fields and,
until we meet again, may God hold you
in the palm of his hand.
An Irish Blessing

Posted by Lyn, Kathie, Vicki, Amy & Jack - IA - sisters & nephew   December 03, 2015


Chris was observant and kind. She lit up when spoke of Jack and Milo. My condolences to family and friends. May her spirit be surrounded by peace, love, and light and the same be shed over her loved ones.

Posted by Stephanie Kemmerer - Cedar Rapids, IA - Work acquaintance   November 30, 2015

I am so sad to hear about Chris. I first met her years ago in Leadership Iowa and I was so impressed with her energy, passion and intelligence. I am grateful for the opportunity to reconnect with her again and work with her at Pearson. My condolences to her family, especially to her beloved nephew Jack.

Posted by Ann Humbert - Cedar Rapids, IA - Co-worker   November 30, 2015

I'm so sorry to hear of Chris' passing. I worked with her at Pearson. She was very kind, a great writer, and often shared wonderful stories about her nephew. She loved him very much. Sending thoughts and prayers to her family and friends.

Posted by Cari Foss - Marion, IA - Coworker   November 30, 2015

I am deeply saddened to hear of Chris's passing. I worked with her during her 5 years at Kirkwood. She was one of the kindest people I knew. She loved Jack deeply and shared many stories of him. I will miss her greatly. I'm so glad I had the chance to know her and call her friend.

Posted by Susan Reyhons - ELY, IA - Friend   November 30, 2015

I was saddened to learn of Chris' passing. I knew her during her time in Proposal Services at Pearson and later when she transitioned to Pearson VUE. I know Jack meant the world to her and that she would do anything for him. My deepest sympathy to Chris' family.

Posted by Mark Welsh - Iowa City, IA - Colleague   November 30, 2015

I am so sad at this news. Chris and I took several walks together when I worked in proposals. She loved her nephew Jack so much and my heart hurts for his terrible loss. I hope she is at peace, in a better place. I send you hugs, Chris, wherever you are.

Posted by Karen Michaeli - Iowa City, IA - former coworker   November 30, 2015

My heart is very heavy after learning of Chris's passing. I will remember her for her warmth, wit, writing talent, adoration for her nephew, interest in history, and appreciation for all things British (especially Judy Dench movies).

Posted by Lindsay Hirth - Colleague   November 30, 2015

I met Chris several years ago when she served as the Chair of the Grants Work-alike group for the Iowa college system. A dynamic professional, Chris provided much encouragement and support to her fellow grants professionals. I remember her fondly and am so sorry to hear of her passing.

Posted by Terry Knipp - Council Bluffs, IA - colleague   November 30, 2015

Chris was my first friend when my parents moved across town. She intoduced me to many of her friends so I would know people at my new school. She also taught me how to play chess and we had many a game.

Posted by Gail Maher - Iowa City, IA - High school friend and neighbor   November 30, 2015


Sending condolences to Chris's family. Chris spoke frequently of her nephew, Jack. She utterly adored him.

We loved having her as part of our proposal family, even though she was miles away. We miss you already, Chris.


Posted by Terri Dunbar - Business Colleague & Friend   November 30, 2015

I was shocked and saddened to hear of Chris' passing! She was so kind and great to work with. My thoughts and prayers are with her family!

Posted by Deb Danielson - Eden Prairie, MN - Coworker   November 30, 2015

So sorry to hear about the news of Chris' passing. I knew her briefly during her time in Proposal Services at Pearson, but we talked often and shared stories about Jack and my youngest daughter Lily, who seemed like similar spirits making their way in this world.

I hope that she is at peace and send my deep condolences to her family.

Posted by Renee Zukin - Iowa City - Former Coworker and Friend   November 30, 2015


Sending prayers to you all on the passing of Chris. May she rest in peace.

Posted by Dawn Soukup Eckrich - Iowa City, IA - Family friend   November 28, 2015