Teresa O'Brien, Glace Bay

Obituary of Teresa O'Brien, Glace Bay

Teresa O’Brien, age 73 of Glace Bay, died peacefully at home on Wednesday July 21st 2021, in the loving care of her family. Born in Aghacommon, Northern Ireland, she was the daughter of the late Martha (Murtagh) and Thomas Molloy. Teresa was the beloved wife of Bob, to whom she was devoted for more than fifty years, and mother to Séan and Clíona. A Master’s graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Teresa was a lecturer in sociology at Cape Breton University for a decade, introducing new and radical ideas in the fields of feminism and women’s studies. Her courses were popular among students, many of whom continued to commend her on her teaching years after her departure from the university. Throughout her life Teresa was committed to social justice, and was a founding member of the Every Woman’s Centre in Sydney. She was also a published author of numerous short stories, including her own collection, "The Keys". In 1978, Teresa came to Cape Breton with the intention of visiting Bob for 3 weeks, but soon forged a community of dear friends on the Island with whom they remained incredibly close for the rest of their lives. The Royal Cape Breton Yacht Club was their second home, where they kept their beloved sailboat, Taharra, which they sailed across the Atlantic, and on which they spent many summers exploring the shores of Cape Breton with their family and racing on the Bras d’Or Lakes. She and Bob also loved to charter yachts in the Caribbean with many of their closest friends. Avid travellers, they spent many holidays in Spain, Italy, and more recently Peru, often hiking the mountains of Ireland and walking the Camino. Teresa especially loved walking on the beautiful beaches of Cape Breton. A down-to-earth person, Teresa was also known to enjoy the finer things in life. She was passionate about good food and wine, and was a superb cook herself, as all who sat at her table will testify. Music was an important part of Teresa’s life as well. She learned to play the flute as an adult and performed in many concerts with the Second Wind community band. Painting, too, was a love of hers for a time, and during her illness it once again became a creative outlet for her. Perhaps her greatest passion was her garden. Over the course of many decades, she created a beautiful oasis in the heart of the town of Glace Bay. She is survived by her children, Séan (Amy), and Clíona (Jason), who she adored and admired, as well as her sisters Betty, Philomena, Margaret, brother Sean (Breige), sister-in-law Nuala, brother-in-law Pat, and many dear nieces and nephews. Besides her parents, she was predeceased by her darling husband Bob, her sister Josephine, sister-in-law Dympna, as well as brothers-in-law Frank Sweeney, Maurice McCann, Con Magee, and Paul Harmey. She burned bright as a star and has now rejoined the constellations. We will miss her terribly. "There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in." A private service will be held. Family flowers only please. Donations in memory of Teresa may be made to the Cape Breton Cancer Centre or the Every Woman’s Centre. Cremation has taken place under the direction of V.J. McGillivray Funeral Home & Cremation Center, Glace Bay. On line condolences to the family can be expressed at: www.vjmcgillivray.ca