Mary was born in San Rafael. She attended E St. School and graduated from San Rafael High School in 1953. She will be remembered for her extreme generosity and always making sure everyone had a good time. She was the rock who took care of people. Her passions included family, cooking, her Italian heritage, painting, traveling, friends, hosting parties, boating, and supporting her late husband, Dick, in his endeavors.
Mary loved being part of social groups, including the California Highway Patrol Wives Club. She was a founding member of Gruppo Lonatese which was instrumental in forming San Rafael’s sister city relationship with Lonate Pozzolo, Italy, her father’s hometown.
The San Rafael Citizen of the Year was established in 2001 and is named in honor of Richard P. O’Brien and Mary Ferrario O’Brien.
Mary passed away peacefully at her home on Friday, January 11, 2019 surrounded by her family. She accepted death with grace and dignity and never lost her sense of humor.
She was preceded in death by her husband, former San Rafael Planning Commissioner Richard P. O’Brien and her parents, Mario and Josephine Ferrario. Mary is survived by her four boys; Mike (Terri), Jim (Leslie), Rick (Donna), and Gary (Linda), along with seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family request donations to the charity of your choice.
A rosary will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, January 21 at Monte's Chapel of the Hills, 330 Red Hill Ave., San Anselmo, CA 94960. A Celebration of Mary's life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, January 22, at St. Raphael's Church, 1104 5th Ave., San Rafael, CA 94901.