Peter O'Brien

March 25, 2011

Peter G. O’Brien

Peter O’Brien died from complications of pneumonia on February 28th at the age of 80, surrounded by his beloved daughters.

A fourth generation Californian, Peter was born August 28, 1930 in Oakland to George and Blanche O’Brien.  His mother loved to tell the story that he was nearly born on the Dumbarton Bridge.  His early years were spent in Menlo Park, Woodside, and summers on the Balboa peninsula and Seabright in Santa Cruz, body surfing with his beloved golden retriever Rusty.

His family relocated to San Marino where he graduated from South Pasadena High School in 1949.  He attended The University of California at Berkeley where he was a member of the Zeta Psi fraternity.


After college he met the love of his life, Claire Stasand.  Peter and Claire married in March, 1958 and were married for nearly 50 years before her passing in 2006. In 1959 they settled in Corona del Mar on the beach at Claire’s childhood summer home where they raised their daughters Terryn and Kammy.

Peter was well known in the beach neighborhood for his love of loud fireworks, clam digging and lobster trapping in front of his house, sailing his Hobie Cat and in general, celebrating life…..and it wouldn’t be St. Patrick’s Day without his much loved Corned Beef and Cabbage! He and Claire loved to travel and one of the places they returned to often was the Hawaiian Islands, specifically Kauai.  They also enjoyed time at their second home in Palm Desert.
Peter enjoyed fishing in Cabo San Lucas, Hawaii and off the coast of Newport and landed his last Marlin at age 77 in Cabo.  He also had a life-long love for horses that began as a young boy, which led him to be a member of the Rancheros Visitadoras. He attended many Rancheros rides in the rolling hills of Central California with his father, uncles, brothers, well known politicians and even a former U.S. President.  Peter was a member of the 20-30 Club and also attended the exclusive Bohemian Club at the Bohemian Grove in the Redwoods of Northern California.  He was an avid bird hunter, sailor, snow skier, body surfer and lover of Golden Retrievers.

Peter is survived by his daughters, Terryn (Jack) and Kammy (Tom), his beloved granddaughter, Quinci, and many nieces and nephews.

If you would like to honor his memory with a gift or contribution, please send it to:
Southern California Golden Retriever (SCGR) Rescue, P.O. Box 25698, Los Angeles, CA 90025 or visit

Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in heaven where the love of our lost ones shines down upon us to let us know they are happy.

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