John O'Brien

Born Petone, New Zealand
Birthdate May 9, 1922
Died December 19, 2001

John’s parents lived in Wanganui - Ernest John O’Brien and Jean Mackie Pemberton O’Brien. He had 2 sisters (Phyllis Palmer - (Wanganui/Warkworth, NZ) Miriam Martinson - (Santa Rosa, California, US)
John had 4 daughters June Perryman (deceased), Susan Kulhavi, Kathryn Herrmann, Carolyn O'Brien, were all born in Wanganui, New Zealand.
John established his business as a signwriter and gold leaf expert in Wanganui during 1946 and created and owned John O’Brien Signs - which was located on Heads Road – Castlecliff. He continued his trade when he brought his family to Salt Lake City, Utah - United States in 1959. He was recognized as a professional artist with paintings on permanent display at the Wanganui Art Gallery. He taught art at the Wanganui Technical College. For 35 years he played drums in dance bands in Fiji, New Zealand and Salt Lake City. He loved music of all kinds and was a season ticket holder to the Utah Symphony and Ballet West. While living in New Zealand he began building model aeroplanes and held many NZ records with “Free Flight” planes and also a world record in the “WakeField Class.” He continued this hobby for many years in Salt Lake City. He was a cyclist in Wellington, riding (successfully) in both road and track. He also loved sailing. He revived the Utah Sailing Association and raced in several classes of sailboats (2 of which he built) on the many lakes and reservoirs in Utah.
He was a member of the Hibernian Society of Salt Lake City, and as he was a New Zealander, also belonged to the NZ-American Society.
John served in the RNZAF during World War II and spent time in Bougainville and the South Pacific, and Fiji during the war.
email from Kathryn O'Brien Herrmann, John's daughter 21/11/2018
b.1922, d.2001


Works by this Artist