William George O'Brien
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William George O'Brien
  • April 30, 1943 - February 7, 2017
  • Port Republic, Virginia

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William George "Bill" O'Brien, 73 of Port Republic, passed away following a brief illness on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2017,
in Rockingham County, the County of which he adored.

Bill was born in Canonsburg, PA on April 30, 1943 and was the son of the late William and Joan O'Brien.

Bill served his country as a member of the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War; after he returned
home, he earned his undergraduate degree from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania and his Masters of Public
Administration from Southeastern University, then began his career in local government as county administrator
of Warren County.

In 1977, Bill became county administrator of Rockingham County, ably leading the county as it grew from a rural
to a suburban community; his notable achievements in the areas of education, public utilities and facilities, and
economic development helped to enhance the quality of life of all county residents, and he worked with other
local governments to develop innovative joint programs in social services, emergency communications, and public
health.

After his well-earned retirement from Rockingham County in 2003, Bill continued to offer his leadership to
communities throughout the Commonwealth as an interim county administrator or town manager for the
counties of Bath and Lunenburg and the towns of Dayton, Front Royal, and Timberville.
In addition he served as a consultant to Dynamic Aviation and Sentara RMH.

Since 1987, Bill has further served the Commonwealth as a member of the Virginia Resources Authority (VRA)
Board of Directors and has been appointed as chair by the past four Virginia governors; as chair
of the VRA, he has provided efficient and effective leadership and strengthened the Commonwealth's
infrastructure by overseeing more than $7.5 billion in investments to more than 1,500 local government projects.

Bill has earned numerous awards and accolades for his work, including the prestigious Jefferson Cup Award from
the Virginia Association of Counties, and he was named as a lifetime member of the Virginia Local Government
Management Association.

He is survived by the love of his life Jeanie, of whom he married on Jan. 25, 1969.
He is also survived by his three children, Kara O'Brien and partner Kate Giroux of Atlanta, GA; Kyle O'Brien and wife Kelly of Rockingham, VA;
Shannon Leblond and husband Gerard of Elkton, VA; his beloved grandchildren, Patrick DeLorenzo, Walker Rose
and Andrew William O'Brien. He is also survived by his brother, Danny and wife Josie O'Brien of Bonita Springs,
FL, as well as a nephew and several nieces.

Bill never met a stranger and immediately lit up any room he entered. He loved spending time with his family
and friends, and cherished all the time he spent with his three grandchildren. He loved the travels that he and
Jeanie were able to share over the years.

A memorial service will be held at 1:30 pm, Sunday, February 12th at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in
Harrisonburg.
A celebration of life will be held at Spotswood Country Club at 3:30 pm.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Stephen and the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, The
Harrisonburg-Rockingham Free Clinic, or the SPCA.

Lindsey Funeral Home in Harrisonburg is handling arrangements and condolences may be sent to the family by
visiting www.lindseyharrisonburg.com.