COOPERSTOWN – Elizabeth “Betty” O’Brien, a Native Daughter and waitress at many well-known restaurants, from The Red Sleigh to Hickory Grove, passed away surrounded by her family Thursday morning, Dec. 20, 2018, at Bassett Hospital. She was 91.
Born Nov. 4, 1927, in Bowerstown, she was one of 13 children of Orlando and Nellie Mary (Page) Bridger. In her youth she attended schools in Middlefield and Cooperstown.
On May 14, 1947, Betty married Robert William O’Brien in the parsonage of the Westville Baptist Church with the Rev. Walter A. Miller officiating.
For many years Betty was employed as a waitress, first at The Knox School, and later at The Short Stop Restaurant, The Doubleday Restaurant, The Red Sleigh and seasonally at The Hickory Grove. Her last job was in food service at The Meadows.
A member of the Native Daughters of Cooperstown, Betty was also active for many years with the Auxiliary of the Sgt. Walter P. Eggleston Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 7128 in Cooperstown. Coming from a long line of card players, Betty happily continued the family tradition right up until her final days. She also enjoyed playing dominos, bowling, going to casinos and most especially taking trips with her sisters each October.
Betty is survived by two daughters, Barbara A. Dickison and her partner, Roo Jorges of Cooperstown, and Deborah Gentry and husband, Robert of Wilmington, Del.; one son, Robert W. “Bill” O’Brien, Jr. and wife, Jeanne of Richfield Springs; nine grandchildren, Nellie, Patricia (Patty), Karen, Elizabeth (Beth), Keith, Christopher, Jeremy, Kelly and Laura; 20 great-grandchildren; 12 great-great-grandchildren; five sisters, Hilda Pomeroy of Fulton, Mildred “Millie” Jennings of Cooperstown, Cora Petrucco of Cortland, Wanda Laymon of Toddsville and Lois Smith of Toddsville; and many, many nieces and nephews.
She was predeceased by her husband of 55 years, Bob O’Brien, who died April 15, 2003; a son-in-law, William S. Dickison, who died Jan. 1, 2003; three sisters, Gladys Welch, Wilma Higgins Dyer and Evelyn Gray; and four brothers, Chester, Herman, Frederick and David.
A graveside service will be held this coming Spring in Hartwick Seminary Cemetery.
For those who wish to honor Betty’s life with a memorial donation, please consider the Cooperstown Fire Department, PO Box 1, Cooperstown, NY 13326 or the Cooperstown VFW Auxiliary, 60 Main Street, Cooperstown, NY 13326.
Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.