Devoted to family, friends and church, John Reginald O'Brien passed away December 28th, 2021, at
home in Bessemer City, NC.
In addition to his mother, Margaret Geneva O'Brien, Reggie was preceded in death by his wife, E. Joyce
Reggie was a 1957 graduate of Bessemer City High School where he was a three-sport athlete. He
excelled in baseball, basketball and played football. He was a "1000" point scorer in basketball
and as a senior, helped lead the team to the state championship. Reggie's first love was baseball which
began when he was on the first Little League team in Bessemer City. He went on to play baseball for
Pfeifer College and then to Belmont Abbey College where he played baseball and basketball. At the
Abbey, he was coached by Humpy Wheeler, Sr., and Al McGuire. Reg was offered a contract to join the
Chicago White Sox minor league system, which he declined, stating that he wanted to continue his
education. He earned his bachelor's degree in Business Administration, with a minor in literature in in
After college, Reggie joined the Army National Guard where he achieved the rank of sergeant. He
earned the level of "Expert" in rifle qualification and his specialty was demolitions in which he trained
Reggie was a purchasing agent for Monsanto Corporation for 18 years and owned and operated
O'Brien's Insurance Agency for 30 years.
As a boy he enjoyed going hunting and fishing in the woods around Bessemer City. He and Joyce
eventually bought those woods and built their home there.
Reggie and Joyce enjoyed going to auctions to purchase antiques and art to sell in the shop they owned.
Favorite buying trips were to Abingdon, VA and Savannah, GA.
Reggie was a lifelong member of Grace Lutheran Church, Bessemer City where he served on the church
council, as an usher and coached youth sports teams.
Celebrating his memory is son Kevin O'Brien (Angie), son Michael O'Brien (Heather) and grandchildren,
Alex and Garrett O'Brien. Special friends include Charles Groves and Barbara Jenkins and the family of
Grace Lutheran Church. Special thanks to caregivers Danna Amador and Patricia Hamrick.
Visitation will be held at Sisk-Butler Funeral Home, Bessemer City, on Sunday January 2nd from 4:00-6:00
pm. A memorial service will be at Grace Lutheran Church on Monday, January 3rd at 11:00 am.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to Grace Lutheran Church, PO Box 185 Bessemer
City, NC 28016.
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