IN LoviNq MEMORy
JAMEs A. O'BryAN, Sn.
NoVEMbER 19, 1910-SEpTEMbER 14, 1980
FrEdErick LuIhERAN Ckhuch
ThuRsdAy, SEpTEMbER 18, 1980
James A. O'Bryan, Sr. was born on November 19,
1910 in Frederiksted, St. Croix to Malvina Wattley and
He received his early education in Junior High School
on St. Croix, and he later transferred to St. Thomas where
he completed his high school education.
In 1928, he began working as a teacher on the island
of St. Croix and later went to work at the firm of Thomas
Ramsary and the La Grange Sugar factory.
He moved to St. Thomas in 1931 and started to work
as a teacher. When he ended his teaching career in 1940,
he held the title of Principal Teacher.
In 1940, he .started as chairman surveyor at the
Bournofield construction project 'and later served as
cost accountant and assistant to the office manager.
In 1942, he started working at the Office of Price
Administration and later became chairman of the Priceand
Rent Control -Commission, Special Assistant to the
Government Secretary; Assistant Supervisor of the
Emergency Planning Board; and First Chairman of. the
St. Thomas Development Board.
He later worked as Assistant Supervisor of the 1950
Census and served as Territorial Information Officer of
Price Stabilization. He also served as Acting Director of
the V.I. Land Authority and Administrative Assistant to
the Commissioner of Insular Affairs. From 1957 to
August 1960, he worked as Executive Secretary to the
Board of Tax Review. Ho joined the Department of Public
Works and served as Sanitation Supervisor; and joined the
Department of Commerce in 1965. At Commerce, he
served as Beautification Officer, Statistical Officer, and
in 1970, he was appointed Assistant Commissioner of the
Division of Trade and Industry.
His retirement from government service in 1975
culminated a career that spanned more than fortyyears of
service to the people of the Virgin Islands.
His interests were many and varied, ranging from
countless civic and religious organizations to member-
ships on various government boards. He served as
Vice President on the Frederick Lutheran Church Council;
Chairman of the Parish School Board; and Superintendant
of the Sunday School.
James A. O'Bryan, Sr. died on Sunday, September 14,
1980 at the Knud Hansen Memorial Hospital following an
MAY HE REST IN PEACE
Elsa D. O'Bryan
Carol O'Bryan Henneman
;heryl O'Bryan Clay
James O'Bryan, Jr.
He is also survived by fifteen grandchildren
& numerous nieces and nephews
A. Anthony Richards
Henry A. Million
On behalf of my mother, Elsa Oliver O'Bryan, the
sons, daughters, sisters, brothers and other relatives of
the late James A. O'Bryan, I would like to express what we
feel to those who mourn his death with us today. We loved
him as a husband and father and brother. In many ways,
he was an inspiration to us. He gave us strength in times
of trouble; wisdom in times of uncertainty; and sharing
in times of happiness. He was always by our side.
Love is not an easy emotion to convey in words, nor is
trust or friendship or joy, but he was all of these. He loved
life completely and lived it intensely. He was a vibrant man
who rejected subsistence for existence, survival for living.
We view this occasion asa happyevent, the fulfillment
of the timeless exhortation of Ecclesiastes in which he
deeply believed. A thousand times we have heard him
quote these words:
'To everything there is a season and a time for every
purpose under heaven. A time to be born, and a time to
die, a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which
And for my father, after a period of pain and trouble and
suffering, his time has come at last.
For in the 70th year of histime here among us, wearied
by his bruising and valiant fight to avoid the inevitable
end which will triumph over us all, he lifted his sightless
and tired eyes to that distant place beyond the heavens,
and responding to the summons of his beloved Lord, he
passed from this life into the forevermore.
The voice which had relentlessly preached the
solidification of the family was silenced. The heart which
always responded in time of need and emergency with
compassion and encouragement and support was stilled.
And the spirit which embodied the principals of faith and
courage and reason was no more.
Our hearts are full and the occasional tears will flow;
however, we see this as a happy occasion, a golden
opportunity to gather together as a family, celebrating his
life, giving thanks for the years he spent here with us,
remembering his good and bad points, his likes and
dislikes, his accomplishments and his setbacks, his.
dreams and his realities.
We are deeply grateful to those of you who have taken
time out from your regular routine to bid him farewell and
to offer strength and comfort to his beloved wife, Elsa,
who stood by him in sickness as in health as she had
vowed to do twenty-nine years ago.
My father was a complex and frank man, but he was a
fair and honest man. He believed deeply in principals and
he commanded respect because he was always willing
to stand up for his beliefs.
In his death, I have lost political and personal advisor,
a wise and cherished friend, a comforting and loyal ally.
My awareness of this was an incalculable source of
strength, and because true friendship is something
unselfish and involves sacrifice and giving, I could not help
but profit from it.
Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest
today, pray that each of you takes this occasion to renew
your sense of living, your own sense of family, your basic
beliefs in the betterment of man.
Living in such a way, my father's ideals will never
die, and his memory will sustain us as we face every
James A. O'Bryan, Jr.
THE %'ViOIm ISLANDS Or TIlE UNITED STATES
Off.CC Or TYt LIUtCWANVT GOVCONOO
('HANLOYrr ANALr., Sr. TonMA.V I. oonol
September 18, 1980
Il rwY A 4ILWr.*
The Virgin Islands Community today mourns
the passing of one of its sons who tirelessly and
unselfishly devoted 46 years of his life to public
service in various fields of endeavor.
James O'Bryan, Sr., as a teacher, a clerk, an
administrator, and in each and every area of employment,
served with distinction, and will be long remembered
for his commitment to improving life in our Virgin
The grief his family and loved ones experience
over his passing should be assuaged by the knowledge
that their sorrow is shared by a grateful community.