A kind-hearted, fun-loving man who lit up every room he entered is how everyone will remember John O’Brien, who sadly passed away suddenly at his home in recent weeks.
A Kilmuckridge native, John lived in Gorey with his beloved wife Maggie, who he was almost inseparable from since the pair married 22 years ago. John loved Maggie more than anything and he reminded her of that each and every day that they were together.
It was on the dancefloor following a Buffer’s Alley win where John and Maggie first set eyes on each other. While they didn’t talk to one another that night, they each tried to find out more about the other through mutual friends, only to meet again at a dance in Ballyedmond the following week. The pair danced together and quickly hit it off, and it wasn’t long until they became an item.
John and Maggie married in 2000 in Gorey and were one of the first couples to get married in the millennium. Surrounded by friends and family, they danced the day and night away – a hobby they continued for the next 22 years. The pair danced their way around Wexford, and were particularly fond of the dancefloors in the Ashdown, the Hydro and Ballyedmond. Their talent won them a host of trophies and medals, while it also connected them with a lot of friends.
John and Maggie also shared a love of music, particularly old Irish ballads and rock and roll songs. John was a talented ballad player and singer. His party pieces included “My Love and Teddy Bear”, “Danny Boy” and also, “I Love you Because” – a song he saved for Maggie.
They were also huge Elvis fans. In 2005, they sold their bungalow on the Arklow road to take a trip to Graceland and renew their vows. Back at home, John seemed to know everyone, and you couldn’t go for a walk with him in Gorey without him stopping to chat to everyone he met. This trend didn’t stop once the pair crossed the Atlantic Ocean. Early on in their trip to Memphis, John returned from the shop and informed Maggie that he had bumped into some lads he knew from Wexford.
While John loved their trip to America, he didn’t like to be away from Wexford for too long. He adored Gorey town and would walk through the streets several times a day, talking to people, finding out the local news and rummaging through charity shops. He always brought some town news and a trinket home for Maggie after his adventures. He will be greatly missed around the town for his friendly and fun nature, his stories and not least, his generosity. Indeed, over the years, he did a lot of voluntary work around the town.
John was also a familiar face at the market in the Unyoke, where he and Maggie had a regular stall. He was the life and soul of the market and was always willing to give a hand to anyone, whether that involved packing or unpacking their items, or minding their stall while they took a break. He usually came home with a few items for himself and was the first to pick up any Elvis memorabilia that was up for sale.
As a proud Wexford man, it was only natural that John was a huge Wexford hurling fan, another passion that he shared with Maggie. He watched or went to every match, often adding in his own commentary as the play went on. He was an avid Buffer’s Alley supporter and he followed them to every game.
John and Maggie loved exploring their home county together and went on weekly drives around the county every Friday. For John’s 60th birthday, they decided to go a bit further and take a visit to Glendalough. Despite visiting during the pandemic, the pair had a wonderful time, enjoying meals, some drinks and watching the soaps together.
John will be remembered by all who knew and loved him as a kind, fun, honest and gentle man, who would never say a bad word about anybody. He brought so much love and happiness into Maggie’s life and into their home and she loved him more than anything.
John will be sadly missed by his beloved wife Maggie; siblings Margaret, Kathleen, Mary, Pat, Myles, Peter, Anna, Bridget and Kerry; stepchildren Noreen, Ian, Phelim, Naomi and Rhonda; extended family and wide circle of friends.