Maurina O'Brien, Reserve Mines

Obituary of Maurina Dorothy O'Brien, Reserve Mines

It is with great sadness that we, the family of Maurina O'Brien, age 79, announce her passing from Harbourstone Enhanced Care, Sydney, Nova Scotia on Saturday, May 16, 2020. Born to the late Jack and Effie (Steele) McNeil, Reserve Mines, Maurina is survived by her sister Mildred Honch, Fullerton, Ca. Maurina also leaves behind loving daughter Kathy (Jordan) Roberts, Waterloo, Ont., sons Billy (Susanne) O'Brien, Glace Bay, NS, and Donnie (Julie) O'Brien Calgary, Alta., as well as her pride and joy, grandchildren Jack, Morgan, Connor and Liam. Maurina was predeceased by her loving husband William (Bill) O’Brien, brothers Joe, Johnny, Cyril and Walter, as well as sister’s Helen Cormier and Cassie Bund. One of 8 children growing up as a coal miner’s daughter meant things were modest in every way, however Mom never complained, instead only spoke of the good times they would have in their small coal mining community. At a young age, Mom was diagnosed with Tuberculosis and was sent away for treatment. She was able to beat it, which was not often the case during that time. In the late 1950’s she met a young coal miner named William Donald O’Brien, from Gardiner Mines, at a dance in Dominion and they would later move to Brantford, Ontario where they would marry on May 18, 1963. Always in pursuit of a better life, Maurina and William would move to Duke Street in Elmira Ontario in 1967, where they would begin their journey into the taxi cab business. This would require that Maurina would drive cab, as William would take on other jobs as a mechanic, but things worked and were going well. Over the next several years they would become parents to Kathy, Billy and Donnie and make the move into Waterloo to raise their young family. Maurina would drive cab full time for Waterloo Taxi and later for Cambridge City Cabs giving her a working knowledge of the Waterloo region like no other. It also made her exceptional at fast math, and driving gave her a really funny one arm tan in the summer months from hanging her left arm out the window as she drove her long shifts. In 1984 William would tragically pass from complications relating to pancreatitis, but Maurina just worked harder to make sure the pursuit of something better would go on for her and her three children. In 1993 after sending the last of 3 children off to University, she would make the move back east to her home town of Reserve Mines, Cape Breton, NS where she lived among friends and cared for family. She was never far from the arena, where she could be found cheering on lots of different teams whether they included her son, grandkids or family friends, all the while winning her fair share of 50/50 draws. Somewhere along the way Mom found a love of Bingo and would play this until she could no longer manage. She also never met a slot machine she didn’t like but she did a good job hiding that one for the most part. Mom always enjoyed music and you were never safe if she was dancing and you were not as she would grapple you until you joined her on the dance floor. Later in life we also learned that Mom had an entire vocabulary that we as kids never heard, however she must have picked it up driving taxi for 35 years. In her final years she would never hold back a colourful description of whatever it was that was on her mind. A very special thank you is extended to the wonderful staff at Harbourstone Enhanced Care, as well as the staff at the Adult Day Program in Glace Bay. There will be no visitation at this time. A Celebration of Life will be held at a LATER DATE. Cremation has taken place under the direction of V.J. McGillivray Funeral Home, Cremation & Reception Center, 16 Reserve Street, Glace Bay. In lieu of flowers, any donations may be made to the Glace Bay Hospital Adult Day Program, South St. Glace Bay, NS, or a charity of choice. On line condolences to the family can be expressed at: