James Erall O’Brien

James Erall O’Brien

July 23, 1936 – April 18, 2007

James Erall O’Brien, 70, of College Station passed away Wednesday. Private interment will be at a later date at Houston National Cemetery.

He was a master sergeant in the Marines and received a bachelor’s degree from Texas A-M University.

Survivors include his brothers and sister-in-law, G. Patrick O’Brien of Albuquerque, N.M., and Jay Terry and Carolyn O’Brien of Waxahachie; and sister, Colleen O’Brien of Denver, Colo.

Please leave condolences at www.callawayjones.com.


  1. Dear O’Brien Family,

    It is with deepest sympathy we say you all are in our thoughts and prayers. We enjoyed Mr. O’Brien’s presences here in our branch and we will miss him greatly. I know he must have been a wonderful brother to each of you. Please let us know how we can help your family in any way. Once again you all are in our thoughts and prayers through this difficult time.

    With Sympathy,

    Christi Wilson and all of the Citibank University Center Staff

  2. Mr. O’Brien … I always enjoyed our afternoons together, you sitting there on the sofa drinking your Coke and munching on Peanut M-M’s while reading all the newspapers from cover to cover. And, I’ll miss our long discussions on any subject that came to mind. I thought of you not as just another guest here but as a friend. I always valued your opinions and wise advice. You will be missed.

  3. To James’ family: I coinsidered James as more than a student also a friend. We had many conversations over the time that he was a student in our department, many not related to academics!

    Keith Arnold
    Professor Emeritus,
    Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences

  4. James,
    I always enjoyed seeing you in the Wildlife office if only just to check in. My deepest sympathies to the O’Brien family. James was a good man.
    Richard Taylor

  5. I am so sorry for the loss of a truly inspirational man. I was the teaching assisstant for James’ limnology lab last semester and enjoyed having him in my class. He was truly curious about the world and doggedly pursued knowledge. He was one of my best students, always asking questions, always seeking to understand the how and why of what he was studying, and always encouraging with his comments. I appreciated his down-to-earth views on himself, scholastics, and the world at large. He will be sorely missed here in the WFSC department – I was looking forward to the presentation he was going to be delivering on the 25th. My morning is going to be sadly empty tomorrow. I will strive to follow his lead and never let myself be too old to stop learning. May God bless Jim and his family. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. Mr O’Neil was an icon at A-M Student Health where he would come in and sit and visit and laugh with his friends the Md’s and nurses. His rare sense of humor and caring ways made him a pleasent respite in the midst of a busy day.
    It was not uncommon to see him walking thru campus or the health center just to say hi. Several of us were his’ contact people’ -‘to check on him should he not appear.’ And happily he usually did appear!
    We were deeply saddened to lose our friend of so many years. A-M has lost a familar figure who helped make us what we are today. We do miss him.

  7. I am very grieved at the loss of my good friend James. My husband Troy formerly manager at TAMU Bowling and Games is also grieved. James friendship was very much appreciated by us and brightened my days for about the past 20 years. He always had a big smile even when he wasn’t feeling well or troubled about his class load. I always fixed him a container of vegitable soup and corn bread or butter beans and corn bread and left him a note to pick it up. I will miss seeing him around our building (Nagle Hall). James always sent me a beautiful poinsetta for the Xmas holidays. I managed to keep them alive sometimes from year to year. He usually would let me know when he was going to Houston or Vegas and once when I couldn’t locate him after checking all the hospitals – he finally called me and told me ‘He was alive and well’.
    James was 11 months older than me and we used to joke about it all the time, us old timers still in college.
    I hope if there is anything I can do to assist his family, you will not hesitate to contact me and let me know.
    God Bless and keep all of you well.
    Lee Bartlett

  8. James received a B.S. degree from Recreation and Parks in December of 1989 and then enrolled in Wildlife – Fisheries Sciences for another degree. Every professor knew James. He was well known for his appetite for learning. It is with sadness that we learned of his premature death this past week. We certainly will miss his stopping in at Francis Hall to visit. May we extend our sympathy to the family.

  9. I’m a professor in the Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences department at Texas A-M. James received his B.S. from us in 1989. Although I never had him in class, James did drop by my office several times to exchange stories about the military (I was a Navy brat myself), how much the opportunity to further his education meant to him, and how much the campus had changed over the years. If I remember correctly, James told me that he had been a part of campus life during three phases: when the university was all military and the faculty lived on campus, when it was first becoming co-educational, and during the modern era when he returned after his military service to complete his education.

    James was a familiar figure on campus. He didn’t have a car and walked everywhere. I wish now I had spoken to him more than I did, or that I had stopped to offer him a ride on those occasions when I saw him walking. He was a rare individual. God speed, James.

  10. Dear O’Brien Family, I am truly sorry for your loss. I had a few classes with James, and he was an inspiration for me. He was always interested in learning and a joy to talk to. He always had positive things to say and would brighten anyones day. He was a good man, and will always be remembered for it. I am sorry for your loss, but we will always remember James for his kindness and enthusiasm for learning.

  11. It was my distinct pleasure to have been a part of the medical team that cared for James at the Student Health Center prior to my retirement last year. He was probably the most compliant patient that I attended over 35 years of medical practice. Please accept my sincere sympathy at this difficult time.


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