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O’BRIEN, John “Jack” Owen

December 14, 1926 – Winnipeg, Manitoba
January 31, 2019 – Calgary, Alberta

Jack passed away peacefully in the loving presence of family on January 31, 2019.

Jack was born and raised in Winnipeg, MB. After high school, he attended the University of Minnesota from 1945 to 1948 where he graduated with a Bachelor’s of Geological Engineering Degree. While at University, he played hockey for the Golden Gophers (hear them roar). He led the team in penalty minutes each year he played. He always had a broken nose or a black eye from his rambunctious play which gave rise to his nickname of “Panda Jack”.

After University, Jack went to work in the oil business in Edmonton for Bay Petroleum, and then for Tenneco Oil and Gas. While in Edmonton, he met the love of his life, Joyce Cairns, and they married on June 9, 1951. They moved to Calgary in 1952 where they started their family. In 1965, the family moved to Denver, Colorado and in 1969 the family moved back to Calgary where Jack became the President of Tenneco Canada. Tenneco Canada later became the Canada Development Corporation Oil and Gas Division and subsequently Canterra Oil and Gas under his leadership.

Jack will be most remembered for his devotion to his family, and he will be missed and dearly remembered by all.

Jack is survived by his sister Patricia Lamoureux; his children, Terry O’Brien (Patti), Kevin O’Brien, and Moira Striepe (Al); his grandchildren, Katie Kulesza, Anne Marie Al-Borno (Mo), Matthew Striepe (Dana), Alia O’Brien, David O’Brien (Laura), Geoffrey Hamdon-O’Brien, and Laura Striepe (Calvin); and his great-grandchildren, Coen, Bennet, Lilah, Ben, Jacob and Matthew. He will be fondly remembered by Carloyn McPhee, Dieter Striepe, and Evelyn Hamdon.

Jack was predeceased by his spouse, Joyce O’Brien and by his parents, John and Frances O’Brien.

Special thanks are extended to Zora Ljubojevic and the staff at Staywell Manor at Garrison Woods.

Funeral Services will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY (Fish Creek Hospitality Centre, 14441 Bannister Road S.E., Calgary, AB) on Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 2:00 p.m. Condolences may be forwarded through

In living memory of Jack O’Brien, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Fish Creek, 14441 Bannister Road S.E., Calgary, AB, T2X 3J3, Telephone: 403-256-9575.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Michael Stewart

    Moira, Kevin and Terry,

    Sincere condolences from me and my family on Jack’s passing. I am very grateful that I was able to visit with him early in the new year.

    I (and Caron) were very fond of him. He gave me my opportunity to change career paths and the platform to build a successful career. I will be forever grateful for his friendship and mentorship.


    Michael and Caron Stewart

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  2. I will always remember Jack as a generous host, a thoughtful friend and avid golfer. He liked to share his stories of golf with Sid and Sid enjoyed them. My deepest sympathy to his family. With Love Faye Hamdon.

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  3. Moira, Kevin and Terry
    My sympathy on Jacks passing. Both your Mom and Dad were long term good neighbors. He will be missed.


    Bob Andrews

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  4. Huguette & David Monroe

    To Jack’s family, we offer our sincere condolences. We lived across the street from Jack & Joyce between 1998 and 2014. We have fond memories of mostly Jack, as Joyce was not well enough by then, coming to our annual Christmas parties and him becoming the star of the evening, with several people offering to escort him to his home when he wanted to leave. They just couldn’t get enough of his interesting stories. He had an infectious laugh and always had a joke on the tip of his tongue. I enjoyed our several conversations over the phone after we loved to Kelowna in 2014. He always remembered who we were and asked about our family. Your dad/grand-dad was an extraordinary man with a full and fascinating life. He will be remembered fondly by many. Our thoughts and prayers are with you in this difficult time.

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  5. Although we only met Jack in his final years, we feel honoured to have known him. If the quality of character of his grandson Matt is any indication, then Jack was truly an impactful patriarch. Smiles and laughter were shared every time we got together with him. Our deepest condolences to the whole family.

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  6. Remembering his wonderful and gentle soul will forever remain in our hearts. May he rest in peace!

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  7. To the O’Brien Family: my condolence
    Jack took a chance and hired a “wet behind the ears” geologist which provided me and my family with a long and rewarding career in the petroleum industry. Jack was a great boss, mentor and role model and continued to be a dear friend in our respective retirement years. Jack, thanks !

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  8. Jim and Sue Martin

    Moira,Kevin,and Terry,
    Our sympathies go out to you. Jack hired Jim in 1960, and from there on we enjoyed a wonderful relationship and friendship. He will truly be missed.

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  9. Moira,Kevin, Terry and family,
    Our sympathies are with you. Jack hired Jim in 1960,and from then on we enjoyed a wonderful relationship and friendship.He will be missed
    Sue and Jim Martin

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  10. The O’Brien Family;

    The O’Brien Family;
    I knew Jack for over 40 years as a colleague, a mentor, a guide to the restaurants of Paris, a masterful maker of martinis, and as an overall good friend but, above all these, I will remember him best as a gentleman of honour. You have a wonderful life to look back on.

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  11. I had the privelege of meeting Jack through some work I did for him and his wife, it was a pleasure to work for such a pleasant and generous man. My sincere condolences to his family.

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  12. Just want you to know that Pat, Moira, Terry, Kevin and families are in our thoughts and prayers. We always enjoyed hearing about Dad’s phone calls with Jack.

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  13. Pat and Gordon Watters

    Jack and I grew up on the same street in Winnipeg. We went to the same school and played hockey on the same team. He played hockey at u of Minnesota and graduated . I followed a few years later and did the same. Later we lost touch while he became an oil executive and I did medicine.Later Pat and I saw Joyce and he for brief visits to Calgary. He and she were very good to us. they were great Albertans and Canadians. We will miss them very much. Please give condolences to the family.

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  14. John & Bobbie Currie

    Terry, Kevin, Moira and Family
    I had the good fortune to spend most of my career working with your Dad,”OB” as we referred to him. Jack was of that generation of exceptional CEO’s who provided the vision & drive to develop our remarkable petroleum industry & although he was well aware of his challenging responsibilities, he seemed to get great enjoyment from every day on the job. His leadership motivated excellence and pride in achievement. Jack was so revered by his management team that each year since his retirement over 25 years ago & until health became a barrier, we gathered around him for a Xmas luncheon to rehash old stories. Thank you for giving your Dad so much love, support & care over these past months. Without that I know Bobbie & I would not have been given the gift of his infectious laughter to remember him by.

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  15. Dear Terry, Kevin, Moira and your families,
    We wanted you to know that our thoughts are with you today as you gather at Fish Creek Hospitality Centre to remember Jack. Since Jack’s passing I have thought about the many wonderful individuals who came before- starting with your grandmother Frances and her sister Kitty, first cousins and great friends in England to my Grandmother Jennie Potts. As you know, the two families eventually moved to Canada and continued to be in each others lives, having chosen Winnipeg, Manitoba as home. The young women married and many more wonderful memories were created as the families grew, with the arrival of Pat and Jack in the O’Brien family and of Eleanor, Jean, and Edna in the Cuthbert family. Eventually Kitty and Frances moved to BC, while their cousin Jennie continued to live in Manitoba, but the Christmas cards and letters continued to flow between these two cities, interspersed with occasional visits. The next generation of those families now live in BC, Alberta, Manitoba, and Ontario. My Mom Eleanor, and Paul and Jane’s Mom, Pat have in the past years told me of the many happy adventures they had with Jack, in Winnipeg. Many years later, Jack and and Joyce were a welcoming home for me as a young occupational therapy student interning in Calgary in the summer of 1974, and later for David when he stayed with them when he was completing his student work in Calgary in 1983. Jack and Joyce were vibrantly interested in our lives and career paths through those years. They also prepared and shared delicious meals with us, while entertaining us with stories of the family, from past years. After that, when our family also moved out to BC, we were pleased to have many interesting visits with Jack here as he came out to Vancouver/Tsawwassen frequently to visit his Mom, and Pat and Ed. Jack was a very intelligent man, he had a quick wit, he was generous, and he loved to tell a good story!
    Our condolences to you with love from Jean, David, Jennifer and Sarah

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  16. Anne Marie and family,
    I am so sorry to hear from Mike about your grandfather’s passing.
    Today and always, may loving memories bring you peace, comfort, and strength.

    “When you lose someone you love,
    You gain an angel you know.”
    —Author unknown

    With heartfelt condolences,

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  17. Dear O’Brien Family,
    I am so sorry for your loss! Jack was a lifetime friend to my dad, Bud Stansberry. I spent many hours eating, drinking, and laughing with Jack. He was a wonderful man, with endless stories about the adventures he enjoyed during his life.

    Bud was hospitalized on February 9th, and unable to attend the memorial service. He sends his best wishes to you all.

    With sympathy,

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