Chapel Overflows with Memories of Frank “Junie” O’Brien

Frank O'BrienApril 16, 1919 – February 2, 2012

On Saturday, February 11, more than 450 members of the extended Groton family gathered in St. John’s Chapel to celebrate the life and legacy of Frank “Junie” O’Brien. The Right Reverend J. Clark Grew II and William M. Polk ’58 presided over the service, which reminded the congregation of the many gifts that Junie shared with his family, former students, and friends.

In his remarks, Bill Polk highlighted the many boys that Junie had kept on the straight and narrow; one of them, Paul Stewart ’72, attended the service and nodded with amusement as Bill recalled his attempt to flee the School. June thwarted the escape in his jeep and ended the escapade by taking Paul to Johnson’s for ice cream. Frankie O’Brien spoke to his father’s family life, his pride in his children, and his love for their mother. One loving detail: Junie’s grandsons each sported one of his Groton ties.

With the tolling of the bells, the congregation left the Chapel and continued to celebrate Junie’s life at a reception in the School’s Dining Hall. A life well lived is certainly something to celebrate, and so it was as friends and family toasted Junie, swapped stories, laughed a lot, cried a little, and took comfort in each other—easing a bit of the pain that accompanied his passing.

Look for a full tribute to Junie O’Brien in the Fall 2012 Quarterly. If you’d like to share any memories of Junie, please send them to

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