James R. O'Brien


James R. O’Brien, 86, passed away on Saturday, February 11, 2017. Born in Mineville, NY on August 23, 1930, he was the son of Patrick and Helen O’Brien.

Jim was a graduate of the Albany College of Pharmacy and started his career as a pharmacist working for Harvey Co Pharmacy and MacFinn Pharmacy in Saratoga Springs. In 1954, he moved to Ballston Spa and worked at Lattimore Pharmacy.

On October 1, 1960, he bought the pharmacy and O’Brien’s Pharmacy was established. He loved his customers and always had a story to share. When he wasn’t at the pharmacy, Jim enjoyed gardening, movies and reading a good book. There was no Western in print or on film he didn’t know by heart. Of course he loved all things Irish.

He was predeceased by his wife Alberta, daughter Suzanne, and brothers Arthur and Patrick. Jim is survived by his son Sean O’Brien (Mary) of Ballston Spa, daughter Sharon Baker-Anderson of Ballston Spa, son in law Ricky Baker (Cheri) of Ballston Spa, grandchildren Michael Baker, Melissa Wyatt (Bryan), Meghan Baker, Michelle Baker, Devin O’Brien, and Hannah O’Brien, sister Rosemary Bigelow (Galen) of Westport, 4 great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services will be held 9:30am Wednesday, February 15 at St. Mary’s Church, Milton Avenue, Ballston Spa where a mass of Christian burial will be celebrated. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Ballston Spa. Relatives and friends are invited to call on Tuesday, February 14 from 4pm to 8pm at Armer Funeral Home, Inc., 39 East High Street, Ballston Spa.

Memorial contributions in memory of Jim may be made to St. Mary’s School, 40 Thompson Street, Ballston Spa, NY 12020.

Guest Book

Allison & Michael Novotarski

Our deepest condolences for your loss. My family has been using O'Brien's Pharmacy for as long as I can remember. As a child I recall coming to the store and always being met with a smile and a story. Even recently, when Jim was visiting he would talk with us and tell us stories about how it was. He was truly a great man and will be missed.

Mary Arnold

Our wonderful village has lost a gem of a man. I still remember meeting you in the pharmacy in 1981 when I moved to Ballston Spa. I was then delighted to find you in the front pews of St Mary's church - our beloved and beautiful church. You leave a lasting legacy that Sean is carrying on. My work friends in Albany are speechless to know I can call my pharmacy and ask them to wait for me cause I will be a little after closing time (and of course they do) - a testament to the caring man you were and the caring man Sean is. O'Brien family, I am so sorry for your loss. I hope that all of our thoughts and prayers are a comfort to you.

John and Fern Wagner

Sean Our deepest sympathy to you and your family .

Rebecca Rivera

My heart & prayers go out to Jim's family. He was a wonderful man who always tried to make time for a friendly "Hello and how are you feeling"or otherwise gave me the warmest smile that brightened & made my day. Rest in Peace my friend.

Henry R & Marianne (Nobile) Kawecki

Sean, Sharon, Prayers and condolences go out to you and your family. I have known Jimmy for many years as a kid when my parents used to go to Christmas parties at your house,of course from the pharmacy and many years later when he worked out at "MyGym". Loved sitting with him & the rest of the "morning crew" having coffee and talking about where they were going for lunch that day. He was a real sweetheart who would do anything for you. Will miss him.

Phyllis Muthig

My sincere condolences go out to Sean and the rest of the O'Brien family. Jim was a very special man. I know that after an illness many years ago he considered each day a gift. He was a good man with a kind soul. I will miss him.

Susan Cartier Satterwhite

What a good man, and dear friend to my Mom, Dad and grandparents! I have many fond memories of visits to Ballston which included spending time in O'Briens, visiting as well as shopping. To Sean and all, condolences and love. Heaven is an even better place now that Mr. Jim O'Brien is there to light it up with his smile and his presence!

Janice Cutbush

The village has lost a most kind-hearted man and one of the last independent businessmen.
He will be very missed by all who knew him.
My condolences to Sean & family.

Karen Bridger

Bless you all with comfort and peace. Mr. O'Brien was always ready with a smile, a funny, and helpful advice. Four generations of us got to know and love y'all. There's a hole in the fabric of many families, now that he's gone home to heaven.

Ray & Jenny Bennett

Our deepest condolences on your loss he will be missed.

John J. Schiller, Jr.

Dear Sean and family,

We are saddened by your loss and will pray for the repose of your father's soul. Peace be with you.

From Annapolis, MD,
John, Devona, Carroll, & Ian Schiller

Rich Gorman

I extend my condolences to the O'Brien family. Jim was a friend and pleasure to know. He had a big heart and touched many lives with his generosity.

Bruce Bigelow

Uncle Jim will be missed dearly may Gods peace comfort you and be with you and your family in this time of sorrow.

An Irish poem:
Those we love don't go away,
They walk beside us every day,
Unseen,unheard, but always near,
Still loved, still missed and very dear.

God Bless You, Uncle Jim

Bruce Bigelow and family

The Crew at Milton Allerdice

We are big fans of Jim O'Brien! He was always a joy to chat with, and we enjoyed his sense of humor! What a great guy....he will certainly be missed!!! God Bless you, Jim!

Priscilla Brown Alban

My sympathy to the O'Brien Family. I have fond memories of Mr. O'Brien and his kindness, many times I went into the pharmacy to find a gift for my Mom when I was little and Mr. O'Brien never hesitated to take the time to help me find that special little something. You will be missed.

Tammie and Sean Betti

We are so sorry for your loss. Your dad seemed like the nicest man. We are thinking of you and your family.

Gary Zimmermann

I am so sorry to here of James passing we all know he is in a better place. Jim will be missed here at Saratoga PT.

Meribeth Hughes

I was so sad to see that Mr. O'Brien passed away. I remember him when I was growing up in Ballston Spa and what a nice man he was.. he was always so nice to talk to.. my condolences go out to the entire family and all of his friends.. he was a big part of Ballston Spa. He will be missed.

Diane and Jim Conn

Jim O'Brien has been in my family ever since I was a little girl. Loved this man!! Ballston Spa lost one of it's finest. RIP Jim. We love you!!!

Jenelle Bowen

Sean and family,
Our family sends their condolences. This was such sad news. Jim was a pleasure to know. Whenever I saw him I would hear a story about him living at my great aunt's home in Albany while he was in college, or going to my grandparent's store at the north end, or just chatting about life in general. He touched so many lives in such a positive way. I will truly miss seeing him around Ballston Spa. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.

Patrick Peluso

Sean....I am so sorry to read of your Dad's passing. Jim was a great guy and I always enjoyed chatting with him when I would come into the Pharmacy. I enjoyed getting his restaurant recommendations and comparing our experiences with them. He will definitely be missed in the community. Please accept my deepest condolences and know that I'm thinking of you at this time...

James Graczyk

Jim was always kind and welcoming to not only myself but also my other employees when picking up prescriptions when he was there at the pharmacy. He always had a great story to tell that always made you glad you knew him....horses included.
You will be sorely missed Mr. O'Brien. RIP.

Carm and Joanne Isabella

Mr. O'Brien was such a kind man. He always had a smile. RIP Mr O'Brien.. this community will miss you! Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family. So sorry for your loss.

Connie Wagar(Wood)

Mr. O'Brien was a fixture to us when we moved into Ballston Spa in the Winter of 1967. Between him and Paul Pastore, we felt we never needed those new chain places. We always were welcomed in and there was a friendly smile. He was a sweet man.

I wish peace and healing to the family and friends of the family. May his life be remembered as the good person he was..

Connie Wagar (Wood)

Sandra Mawdesley

To the O'Brien Family,
Remembering Jim, he always had a smile on his face and goodness in his heart.
It was pleasure taking care of him at the bank as well as seeing him at the pharmacy.
The Village of Ballston Spa has lost a fine gentlemen and friend. May he Rest In Peace and
and may God watch and bless your family..... Sincerely, Sandi

Annie Oakes

I am deeply saddened with this news. I will always remember Jim's words of encouragement and especially his stories. When I return home from school I would always anxiously await the first question he would ask me, "Are you married yet??." There is no other person I'd rather sit and drink red wine with. To the O'Brien family, you have my thoughts and prayers and my heart will be with you this week.

All my love, Jim you will be missed.

Peter Connors

Jim was a class act guy. When I had a family member that was really ill, He said, Peter, anything I can do for you, let me know. He also said about his pharmacy, if you ever need anything filled, even if it's late or on Sunday, call me, or come to my home. I did have to do that once, and sure enough he took care of us. R I P Jim. Love you

Dianne Morrissey

Sean, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

Marianne Farrar-Gritt

My condolences to Mr O'Brien family. I am so sorry for your loss. He was such a wonderful man he will always be remembered. God bless.

Martha Laquidara- Blanchard

My life was made fuller because of your dad and your family. Uncle Jim was definately a positive influence in my life. He always went out of his way to make me feel welcome growing up in O'Brien's Pharmacy in Ballston Spa. He will be missed and is loved deeply. Sean, I am always here for you and your family.

George E. Morris

I will soon be 72 years old but I have strong and good memories of Jim O'Brien. My mother was a domestic and worked for the O'Briens at one time. To go in the drug store Jim welcomed everyone as if they were family. He was a good man who did much good for the Village of Ballston Spa. My prayers are with his family.

Nicole Hodsoll

Dear Sean and family,

On behalf of my parents and my sister, Pat, Roy and Darce, I'm so very sorry to learn of your loss. Although none of us live in NY any longer, we will always remember our friendly neighbors on Country Club Drive. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and yours.

Best,
Nicole Hodsoll

Helen Corcoran-Mulligan

My condolences to the O'Brien family. Very good friend of dad (John J. Corcoran from the Hayner House and Ecobelli's) He will be missed.

Katie and Bob Liddell

This is a sad day for our village and the O'Brien family. Sean, please know you and your family will be in our prayers. Your dad was a kind, caring man who always enjoyed visiting with people and sharing his thoughts. He was a vital contributor to this community. Jim will be missed!

Sharon McCormick (Guthrie)

R.I.P. Mr. O'Brien. My kids absolutely loved going to your store when they were growing up. You were definitely an icon in the community!

Ida Anderson

I am so sorry for your loss. I remember your father well. He was always very friendly and helpful. My parents always got their prescriptions at his store. You and your family are in my prayers.

Stephen Blanchard

Fly high Jim . I met Jim through my father inlaw Walt Brownell (Bud)

Barb Woodruff

A true gentleman and a friend of all things Ballston. The community will have a lastng legacy of his heart for people. Bob and his family were always grateful for his service to his customers.

Kathy Pastore-Jorrdan

Thoughts and prayers go out to Jim's family at this most difficult time.

Mary Lee and George Blakeslee

Jim will be truly missed in the village. He gave so much service to our community as our local pharmacist. I'm glad we got to see him a short time ago. Our prayers are with you all. God bless you and keep you safe.

Mary Lee and George

Tammy Martinez

Sean, my prayers and thoughts are with you and your family.

Michelle Morrisey Bartsch

Mr. O'Brien was my first boss. I worked at the pharmacy when I was in high school. His son Sean was on my dad's little league team. Over the recent Christmas holidays, my husband and I stopped into O'Brien's and guess who was behind the counter. It took him a minute to realize who I was. He came out and we had a nice visit talking about the days when I worked there and talking about my mom. I am so glad we stopped that day.

Wendy DellaPorta-Wyatt

So very sorry for your loss, I remember Mr. O'Brien up in the late 60's early 70's He was a wonderful man

Nancy Whalen

I have very fond memories of going into the pharmacy and Jim always being so kind and helpful. May he rest in peace.

Kristin Rybicki

My sincerest condolences to your family. He was a wonderful man. I remember once when he met me at the pharmacy on a Sunday to fill a prescription for one of my children. I will never forget his kindness. May he rest in peace. You are all in my prayers during this difficult time.

Larry & Sylvia DeLaurie

So sorry to hear about Jim, he did a lot for our community. Our prayers go out to you.
He will be missed.

Tammie Zlotnick

Such a kind friendly person you were. Always willing to help people out and always smiled doing so. Have many great memories of you and the morning crew at My Gym back in the day. God bless you will truly be missed my friend

Myschell Stangle

Mr. O'Brien was a really great person. He knew everyone on site. He took excellent care in doing meds and explaining things .

Jan and Fred Harris

So very sorry for the passing of Mr. O'Brien. Always a smile and kind words, wherever he saw you. He will be missed
.

Marieann Ed Eddy & Amie Burnell

Dear Sean & family,
Our hearts our heavy your father was such a wonderful man with a big heart. He always took the time to talk with us whenever he saw us always ask about the family and was always concerned. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family may God guide you to give you the strength and guidance to heal. God Bless!! The Burnell family.