“Historian at heart” who loved North Reading


Barbara-OBrien-Obit-webNORTH READING — Barbara A. (Aylward) O’ Brien, 78, a long time resident of North Reading passed on Saturday, June 6 after a long illness.

Born in 1937, Barbara grew up in North Reading. She attended Reading High School and worked at the Reading Diner and then as a bookkeeper in Boston. She married her husband of 58 years, Nick O’Brien and moved periodically as he was enlisted in the Air Force. They settled in North Reading in an old farm house, steadily working to improve the property. They started Nick O’Brien’s Service together with Barbara managing the books.

Barbara was a historian at heart, tirelessly and enthusiastically researching the history of many of the town’s oldest buildings and homes. She was a member of the Historical Society and Historical Commission always alert to protecting and restoring North Reading’s historical treasures. She was also a talented seamstress who along with other Minit and Militia ladies created authentic 18th century clothing for the entire regiment.

She is survived by her loving and devoted husband Philip H. O’Brien, better known as Nick O’Brien. She is also survived by her daughter Jessie and her husband Kevin, her son Philip and his wife Apryl as well as a beautiful granddaughter named Eva.

Her funeral service will be held at the Union Congregational Church, 148 Haverhill St., North Reading on Friday, June 12 at noon. Calling hours will be held at Croswell Funeral Home, 19 Bow St., North Reading on Thursday, June 11 from 4–8 p.m. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery in North Reading. Memorial donations may be made in her memory to: Barbara O’Brien Memorial Fund, c/o Winter Hill Bank, 271 Main St., North Reading MA 01864.